You must have probably been involved in a couple of arguments about whether God has changed from the way He used to be in the old testament to the way He is in the new testament. Whether you are the one bringing up the argument or the one trying to prove a point to others, this article will certainly give you insight and more knowledge in trying to understand the whole thing better. So here we go!
So I see people trying to give reasons for others to believe that God is not as perfect as we think, and so they say that’s why He changed from the God of wrath, violence and anger in the old testament to a God of love and grace in the new testament, but I want to tell you that it’s a lie. God has never changed and will not change just as stated in Hebrews 13:8 which says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” I know you will say the scripture used “Jesus Christ”, yes that’s correct but that doesn’t mean that God and Jesus Christ are different in this context. Before you say God and Jesus Christ are different, never forget “God the father, God the son, and God the Holy spirit.” These are not three different beings but one God in his other forms and that’s why “God” is added before each of these forms just to remind us that it’s still Him. “Jesus Christ” is “God the son” and that’s why Jesus said in John 14:9 that “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
Now let me return to the point I was trying to make that God has not changed from being wicked to being loving. In fact, God has never been wicked or angry neither has He ever changed. It’s okay to feel that God was full of wrath and anger in the old testament due to your ignorance but if you understand “Torah”, you will get a clearer picture of what has happened that makes him seem different in the new testament. The whole confusion and misunderstanding begins when you don’t know what “Torah” means.
Torah in Hebrew means “the law” and to a lot of people when told about biblical laws, they begin to have thoughts of harsh, unbendable regulations that invites swift punishment when broken but if you read Proverbs 1:8 it makes it more friendly as it states that “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” I know some won’t believe that the ten commandments consist of only two laws but it’s a fact. In the book of Matthew 22:36-40, the pharisees tried to test Jesus by asking which is the greatest commandment? and Jesus replied saying “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Now this is to say that each commandment from start to finish can be observed and followed if you love God and love your neighbor. For example, if you love God, you won’t go against any of his rules and if you love your neighbor you won’t kill or steal from them. Think about the rest of the commandments and you will find out that you can actually relate each commandment to these two core things that Jesus mentioned cause the commandments are all about loving God and your neighbor. The best way to know that God didn’t give us a big task through the commandments is by seeing it as just doing two things. He didn’t ask for too much, it’s just these two things (love him and your neighbor).
In as much as God says He loves us so much, He can’t stop punishing us for our wrong doings cause he loves us. That’s why Proverbs 13:24 says “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
God’s wrath is still very much active and that’s why all who go against His rules will face one or more punishment while alive or end in hell if forgiveness is not asked from Him. I know some people don’t believe that hell exists but that’s their own business cause hell is absolutely real (here are some Bible verses that talks about hell and it’s reality). God forgives but God will not leave those who do not admit their sins to go unpunished. If you think God was full of violence in the old testament, tell me where He sent his wrath to anyone who sinned and asked Him for forgiveness. It’s the same today, He punishes those who do not admit their sins and He forgives those who seek forgiveness. I know you may want to know why God’s wraths were witnessed more in the old days than today and I will confidently tell you that it is because the people of the old days were still being told about God and a lot of them didn’t believe he existed unlike today that from the birth of a child, the parents begin to prepare him to know God. So God’s wrath is less seen today because we easily ask for forgiveness compared to those in the old days. Remember that God is a jealous God and he will always do what is needed to let us know that He exists. It’s not like God changed, it’s just that we now know that He exists unlike the people of the old days.
His laws, punishment, love and grace is still very much the same as it was in the beginning. We are the ones that adjusted (cause we are not perfect) and not Him.