Sunday, November 24, 2013
I went looking for a photo that captured the thought of old and new after a Sunday School class last week that taught: God does not change.
There is no “God of the Old Testament” versus “God of the New Testament.” God has not, does not, change. Some may see incompatibility between the law of the Torah and the grace of the gospels, but God remains the same in both.
We read in the Old Testament of prophecies of doom, which were fulfilled to unrepentant Israel. We tend to ignore the restorations when God’s commandments were followed. We read in the New Testament of grace and forgiveness, and take those as license to do as we please for God no longer punishes. We hear preachers tell only of a merciful God who loves all mankind, not willing that any should perish. We neglect the surrounding verses:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (2 Peter 3:7-11 KJV)
God is just. God balances mercy and justice. He expects men to be holy:
For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. (Leviticus 11:45 KJV)
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16 KJV)
God does not change:
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6 KJV)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8 KJV)
Why are we not seeing consequences today as there were in the time of the Judges, the Kings? Perhaps we relate a bit differently - we know more, we've been given more - more is required.
The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:46-48 KJV)
This is but a small portion of the scriptures and that lesson – there is so much more to be studied. Do you have a few moments to spend with Him? With His word? With Him in conversation? Or, as Genesis 3:8, when He comes to walk with us, do we hide?