April 4, 2019
The LORD said to Moses, “I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them…But Moses implored the LORD…So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.” (Exodus 32:7-14)
The God I know is loving. He recognizes my weaknesses and forgives me when I stumble. He welcomes me home and wraps His loving arms around me.
God must have mellowed over time because I don’t recognize Him in today’s first reading. Just who is this angry, wrath-filled God who is threatening to “consume” the Israelites? What happened to “slow to anger and rich in kindness and compassion”?
God is unchanging. He did not go from being a vengeful God in the Old Testament to a loving God in the New Testament.
We need to understand the context of today’s first reading to see the loving God we’ve come to know. In today’s reading from Exodus, He was reacting to what had been hundreds of years (slow to anger) of ingratitude and disobedience on the part of the Israelites. Later, when Moses begs God to spare the Israelites, He does so (rich in kindness and compassion).
Don’t allow the packaging to distract you. God is loving and compassionate and always has been.