The God of the Old Testament
The comparison between Abraham’s descendants who constantly turn away from their side of the covenant and God who never fails to keep his side of the bargain is incredibly striking. Here we see the relational God being pushed to the limits. Abraham’s descendants owe him everything. He created them, chose them for his own, gave them the land and protected them. Yet they keep on turning their backs on him. But God stays faithful. He endures the rejection, the frustration and the humiliation because He loves his people and He keeps His promises. People who do not know the Bible very well often talk about the God of the Old Testament being vengeful and angry. However, if you read through this part of the Story, you cannot fail to be struck by how patient and loving God is, and how little the people around him deserve it. The dominant picture in the Old Testament is not a bad tempered old man zapping people with thunderbolts whenever they step out of line. The God we see through the Old Testament is captured in Hosea’s picture of a husband whose beloved wife keeps on running after other men. This is not to say that judgement doesn’t form a part of The Story, it does. But the God of the Old Testament is a patient, loving relational God who keeps his agreements with his creation, even when they don’t keep their side of the bargain.
(From Chapter three of ‘The Unfinished Finished Story – my unfinished book)