Old vs. New: Which God Is For you?

Old vs. New: Which God Is For you?

Trick question, you can't choose a God.
2721
views

A popular misconception today's society has with Christianity, is that its god is an overzealous, overbearing, strict, unforgiving, and homophobic god. Perhaps he is. No one will know, but religion in general is a lifestyle. It connects people, gathers them in a common cause and in the common desire to do good and be good. Religion essentially is a lifestyle, a guideline on how people channel their restless energy/spirituality. In no way is this article meant to convert a reader or to elevate Christianity over another religion. This article is meant to enlighten others on Christianity, and to help its members struggling to come to terms with its God. However, in order to talk about God, one must first talk about love. Because God in Christianity and in practice is love.

Love in the Old Testament is portrayed as a relationship between God and his people. God, who is depicted as an ever-powerful and ever-loving being; quick to reprimand and punish, but still able to forgive. God’s love for his people goes beyond the bounds of agape love, charity, and normal hesed. His love is based on divine hesed which exceeds plain hesed as it focuses on prolonging the relationship and not just giving and loving the other on a current needs basis. Our hesed is determined on a circumstantial basis: how much a person needs, and if we are the only person able to provide the solution to their needs. However, as Christians, we are charged to go beyond that. Leviticus 19:34 highlights the idea that we must extend our realm of hesed and help strangers. For to be charitable and loving towards others, we must give hesed, which is consideration and love for our neighbor, as well as reverence for God.

On the other hand, love in the New Testament shifts its focus onto expanding the definition of neighbor, and thus, on to a kinder God. As stated, this was probably due to the audience both Synoptic writers and on were addressing: non-Jewish public. Love, in the New Testament, is put to the test - and God, in turn, is altered for the eyes of the Gentiles. His role from a reprimanding deity turns into a gentle parent, as He charges his new disciples of this time to spread his word. Through Jesus and his disciples, God beseeches the Jews, his chosen people, to spread the word, to show that the sun rises on both “the good and the bad alike…” (Matthew 5:45). Love is undiscriminating, and should be given out freely, and not to those just in need; it is an act of reconciliation because it is an act of giving yourself over to the other person in need. God loves all and will always remain unbiased in his charity, so therefore, we must strive to emulate the very same unprejudiced forgiveness and love he gave us.

Hesed is not just an action, but a reciprocation of our compact with God; to channel our charity into hesed love for others, we must act with the Decalogue in my mind. Only by heeding the Commandments are we able provide a pure kind of hesed that God implores us to offer to our neighbors - which is everyone. Combined, the Old and New Testament preaches to us to give our love without biases, and without hesitation. We are to treat others as a reflection of God, and as an extension of ourselves. By offering our help regardless of the situation or person, we can come a bit closer to emulating that kind of selfless love. By keeping the other individual’s needs in mind before ours, we can hope to reciprocate our compact with God. Matthew said that God made the sun rise for both the good and the bad alike, and so, we must learn to love without prejudice as love is our only was at redemption and reconciliation with others. Doing harm to others would just prove fruitless either way, as God, gives the final judgement - not us; we harm our reputation more so than others by refusing to love them. By reaching out to others even with the smallest acts of kindness and charity, we make a little bit of this love more present in the world.

So if you are Christian, you can't choose a God. You have to come to terms with the fact that God has been both strict, punishing, and kind and forgiving. Because that is what exactly love is. Punishing and forgiving. Kind and strict; ever-evolving.

God adapts. God forgives. God will accept. God learns.

Our people, the public, are different from the people of both the Old and New Testament. Today's people don't need to be appealed to, they don't need a strong figure with power to find haven under, they need an ear, a shoulder, a friend, and love.

They need someone who embodies the sanctuary and love that God had given His people in both Old and New Testament.

Cover Image Credit: m-louis

Popular Right Now

12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
836664
views

Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

7 Things You Do If You’re One Of Those 'I Always Order Chicken Tenders' People

It's hard to love food but also hate it at the same time.

10009
views

Growing up, my mom would usually have to cook me a separate dinner from my siblings. Why? Because I was ridiculously picky and wouldn't eat the same foods as everyone else. Trust me, it gets old. It's not my fault certain things just taste gross, you learn to live with it.

1. You eat something you hate just to see if you still hate it

I'll take a bite of a burger every once in a while just to reaffirm that it still tastes like dirt. I just have to know. Don't even get me started on vegetables.

2. When trying to explain what you actually like to eat, people give you major side eye

Don't ask me about my eating habits unless you want to get into a long, confusing conversation.

3. Eating at someone else’s house when you were younger was a pain

You hate to tell their parents just how much you hate the food that they gave you. So, you sucked it up and ate it anyway only to come home and whine to your parents.

4. There’s one thing on any menu you always fall back on...even if it’s on the kids menu

Pizza, maybe. Chicken tenders, always.

5. Trying a new food is a very proud moment

It's like, wow! Look at me being all adventurous.

6. When you realize you actually like some new food, that’s an even more amazing moment

Crazy times. This rarely happens.

7. Sometimes it’s the texture, sometimes it’s the flavor, all the time it’s left on your plate

Oops. At restaurants it's either left on your plate or your order is very specified.

Related Content

Facebook Comments