The Character of God in the Old Testament

Many have taught that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are different, that the Old Testament God is all about wrath whereas the New Testament God is all about love.

  • Exodus 33:17 – 34:10 Moses asked to see a parade of God’s character traits.  God showed him His goodness, gracious nature, compassion, mercy, patience, truth, forgiveness, and justice.
    • Goodness – Psalm 27:13, 31:19, 33:5, 52:1, 65:4, 65:1168:10, 107:8, 15, 21, 31, 145:7, Isaiah 63:7, Jeremiah 31:12, 14, Hosea 3:5
    • Gracious – Exodus 22:27, 2 Chronicles 30:9, Nehemiah 9:17, 31, Psalm 86:15, 103:8, 111:4, 112:4, 116:5, 145:8, Isaiah 30:18, 19, Joel 2:13
    • Compassion – Psalm 78:38, 86:15, 111:4, 112:4, 145:8
    • Mercy – Deuteronomy 4:31, 2 Chronicles 30:9, Nehemiah 9:17, , 31, Psalm 103:8, 116:5, 117:2, Jeremiah 3:12, Joel 2:13, Deuteronomy 5:10, 1 Chronicles 16:34, 41, 2 Chronicles 5:13, , 7:3, 6, 20:21, Ezra 3:11, Psalm 25:10, 31:7, 33:18, 52:8, 59:16, 62:12, 85:10, 100:5, 103:17, 106:1, 107:1, 108:4118:1 – 4, 119:64, 130:7, 136:1 – 24, 138:8, 145:8, 117:11, Daniel 9:4
    • Patience – Numbers 14:18, Psalm 86:15
    • Truth – Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 25:5, 10, 31:5, 85:10, 86:15, 98:3, 117:2, Isaiah 65:16
    • Forgiveness – Numbers 14:18, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 86:5, Daniel 9:9
    • Justice – Deuteronomy 32:4, Nehemiah 9:33, Isaiah 45:21, Zephaniah 3:5, Zechariah 9:9
  • Wrath
    • Exodus 32:12 God intended to wipe out the Israelites after the golden calf incident.  Moses argued for God to relent.  (Moses did this on several occasions: Numbers 14:11 – 20, 16:20 – 35, 16:41 – 48, Deuteronomy 9:13 – 29)
    • Sodom and Gomorrah – Because their sin was very grave (Genesis 18:20). Less than ten righteous men remained (Genesis 18:33)
    • Canaanite tribes – God could not give Canaan to Abraham until their iniquity was full (Genesis 15:16).
    • Amalek – Because they attacked from the rear and picked off stragglers and did not fear God (Deuteronomy 25:17 – 19, 1 Samuel 15:2)
    • Israel and Judah – for idolatry and unrighteousness
    • God came to the rescue of the faithful, inflicting His wrath on their adversaries. Why do people take the side of the unrighteous when they themselves want God to protect them?
    • God relented and did not execute His wrath when the unrighteous repented, even though justice would have dictated punishment anyway.
  • Wrath in the New Testament – Romans 1:18, 2:5, 8, 5:9, 9:22 – 24, Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 2:16, 5:9, Revelation 6:16 – 17, 11:18, 14:10, 19, 15:1, 7, 16:1, 19, 19:15.