Kinder, Gentler God

August 12, 2019

“…God, mighty and awesome, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow,
and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-22)

Oftentimes the Old Testament is difficult to read as it seems to portray a God with whom we are uncomfortable. He is called vengeful. We hear of His wrath. He does His fair share of smiting. God the Father seems so angry, nothing like His Son Jesus who spent time on this earth.

We gain a better understanding of what is going on when we take into consideration the time period during which the Old Testament was written, and note the prevailing perceptions of the time. Nonetheless, the Old Testament can prove challenging for us.

But today in Deuteronomy, we get a glimpse of the kinder, gentler God with whom we are more familiar in our everyday lives and experiences: The God who “executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him.”

This is the God to whom we can relate. It is the God we pray to when we are facing our own challenges, when we are the ones in need of justice. It is the God whose comfort we seek when we feel alone, spiritually or physically hungry and naked.

It is also the God who challenges us to do the same. He wants us to follow His lead in being open to the needs of others. He wants us to seek justice on their behalf and work to be sure they are clothed and fed.

Remember the Gospel of Matthew (25:35-40): For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

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