“Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13: 8.
Since God is the same today as He has always been, God’s character in the Old Testament should match that of the New Testament. It seems that the difference between the Old and New Testaments is one of perspective. The Old focuses more on Israel and God’s dealing with the nations on Israel’s behalf. God protects Israel, from whom will come salvation for all nations and all men, Jesus Christ. The New Testament focuses on Christ life, death, and resurrection. It tells of the spread of the Gospel, the good news, the church. It is concerned with only one kingdom, the Kingdom of God.
In the Old Testament the relationships between God and the individuals who trust in Him are lovely. In the book of Genesis, I like the passages where God takes care of women who are in bad situations by no fault of their own. I love the verbs attributed to God. Sarah’s pregnant maidservant, Hagar, runs away. Sarah has become jealous and abusive because of the pregnancy. God is so gracious. In chapter 16 scripture states that God found Hagar, God heard Hagar, God answered Hagar. The Angel of God appeared to Hagar. God’s grace was so great that it gave Hagar strength to do what God wanted her to do, go back and put up with the abuse. Hagar was so amazed that she calls God the “God who sees me!” God was also gracious to Sarah for He fulfilled His promise to her and she in her old age became pregnant with Isaac.
Leah and Rachel were sisters married to the same man because of the deceit of their father. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. Scripture states in chapter 29 that God realized Leah was unloved. God opened her womb. God saw her misery. God heard her prayers. God gave her sons. God is so compassionate, He didn’t stop there. In this rivalry both sides felt hurt, both sides felt pain. God was gracious to both. Rachel also had children from her maidservant and then herself. Rachel says of God, “He took my side, He vindicated me, He listened to me, He gave me a son, He remembered me, He rewarded me.” The God of the Old is the God of the New, the same love and the same gracious acts.
So Jacob sent word for Rachel and Leah to meet him out in the field where his flocks were. He said, “I notice that your father has changed toward me; he doesn’t treat me the same as before. But the God of my father hasn’t changed; He’s still with me.
Genesis 31: 4-5.