It’s easy to glance at the Bible and see a very harsh God in the Old Testament, and a very kind one in the New Testament. The Old Testament is full of plagues and war and death, while the New Testament is full of miracles and love and eternal life, right? That’s exactly what we’re going to answer today: “Is the God of the Old Testament a God of Hate, while the God of the New Testament is a God of love?”
The short answer to this question is that we do not really see any difference. Our Lord is the same in the Old Testament and the New. How do we know this? Well, first of all, he tells us. God tells us of his unchanging nature in the Old and in the New Testament. In Malachi 3:6 God says:
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”
Hebrews 13:8 reads:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
and Isaiah 40:8 reads
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God will stand forever.”
But perhaps God’s word isn’t enough for you. You still wonder why we see such different actions in the Old Testament, as from the New Testament. Well, in truth, We don’t. While it may seem different, we see all of God in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. For instance we see so much Love in the Old Testament. Let’s look at some of the places. In Psalm 103:8-10 we read this:
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. ”
Exodus 34:6a reads:
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness”
In Hosea 3:1, we hear God telling Hosea to reconcile with his wife. He says:
“Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites”.
So we can see that, While there are punishments in the Old Testaments, there is so much love as well! It’s simply our human nature to focus more on the negative parts of the Bible stories we read and hear, and less on the aspects of God’s loving nature.
Now, shifting to the New Testament, things aren’t all roses and rainbows as you might think. While the whole Bible shows the fantastic love our God has for us, God’s wrath still exists in the New Testament. This is shown well in Luke 12:5 which reads:
“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”
In Hebrews 12:29 we hear Paul say that,
“Our God is a consuming fire.”
So as you can see, God does not change into someone else in the New Testament. He is Loving in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. At the same time, while he is slow to anger, God can still become angry with his sinful followers. **** But why is this significant? Well, it means that we can trust our Lord God! It means that we can hold to his promises! If God was changing then one day he could decide that Jesus is never coming back. If God could change, it would mean he is not perfect. But our God is perfect. We can trust him. His words last forever! In a world where even the laws of science change, isn’t it great to have something to hold on to? That’s what God is. Now I encourage you to share God’s Unchanging nature. Trust in our perfect Lord and remember that he is the same Loving God forever. In closing I’d like to read you proverbs 3:5-6.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”