Big Fish…Big Attitude – Old Testament God vs. New Testament God

But Jonah thought this was utterly wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Come on, Lord! Wasn’t this precisely my point when I was back in my own land? This is why I fled to Tarshish earlier! I know that you are a merciful and compassionate God, very patient, full of faithful love, and willing not to destroy. At this point, Lord, you may as well take my life from me, because it would be better for me to die than to live.”

The Lord responded, “Is your anger a good thing?” But Jonah went out from the city and sat down east of the city. There he made himself a hut and sat under it, in the shade, to see what would happen to the city (Jonah 4:1-5, Common English Bible).

“Preacher! God is not the same, yesterday, today and forever. God isn’t even the same in the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament God is vengeful. God is full of wrath. God is not only waiting for us to slip up, sometimes God is even the one placing the banana peel on the ground in front of us. Then, on the other hand, the God we see in the New Testament is a God that is full of love and forgiveness and grace. There is nothing of wrath there.”

I have heard all that many times over. Well, except for the banana peel part. Only one person said that and you know who you are. And, as far as that last sentence, “There is nothing of wrath there?” I would suggest you go spend some time reading Revelation. While I don’t particularly like reading Revelation, there is plenty of wrath in those pages.Equally untrue is the idea that God is only wrathful and

Equally untrue is the idea that God is only wrathful and vengeful in the Old Testament. As angry as Jonah was with God and as much as he might have wanted to escape God’s presence, Jonah clearly recognized the love, forgiveness, and grace of God. Jonah recognized it and wasn’t happy about it at all. Jonah even said this was why he ran away in the first place.

In one way I guess I understand Jonah’s attitude. Who would want to make the trip, do all the work and it turns out for nothing because the boss changes his mind? As a prophet, Jonah had no earthly boss. His boss was God and he knew before he ever got started how this thing was going to turn out.

The point of all this is to say, God really is the same on both the pages of the Old Testament and the New Testament. We may read and interpret the two sets of Scripture differently. The various writers of both the Old and New Testaments may have placed emphasis on different elements of God’s character.

Think about it this way. I, a finite creature, in a single day, can be happy, sad, pleasant, angry, frustrated, giving, comforting and so much more. If I, a finite creature can be all this and more in a single day, how much more can the infinite God be during all of created, divine history? Further, with God all that and more, there is no possible way the Biblical writers could record every aspect of the divine personality.

In short, God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. God never changes. Thanks be to God for the grace given to each of us, even if sometimes we fail to see it.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reseved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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