The teacher asked the kids why the Old Testament God was tougher than the God of the New Testament. One little girl piped up, That was before God became a Christian. Maybe the Prophets saw the love of God as more in line with the cross of Christ than most modern people. We like books that are moving or make us soar. We just delight in the wooing note. We just love the cross when it is reduced to God's warm affection. We just love it (to be read with that sugary sweetness) when it is proof that God, at awful cost to himself, is on our side, as long as it says nothing about our being on his side at great cost to us. The Prophets of the Old Testament were no more earnest than Jesus Christ when they insisted on God's holy love and called his elect nation as Jesus does today to live as the elect. Both the prophets and the Christ speak for the one true God who has always been the God Who Commands the Impossible.
Proclaimed a God Who Is Personal
Proclaimed a God Who Has a History With People
Proclaimed a God of Relational Religion
Proclaimed a God of Astonishing Grace and Patience
Proclaimed One True and Sovereign God
Proclaimed a Covenant-Keeping God
Proclaimed a God Who Risks His Reputation With His People
Proclaimed the Groundwork For the Messiah
Proclaimed the Future
Why Are There Hard Times?
600 Years Ago or Yesterday?
A Smoke Filled Temple
The God Who's Only Passing Through
The Delight of Your Eyes
Annulling Our Covenants With Death
Staying At Your Post
Alone Because God's Hand Is On US
This Is An Answer?
Faith War and Boredom
Life in the Big Paneled House
Faith With a Piece of String In Its Hand
Embracing the Darkness
God Can be Trusted So Flee to Tarshish
Getting Away From the Facts
Tyranny Is Suicide
The Great At Last
I Mean You No Harm
My Name Is Immanuel
Our Last Line of Defense
Sun Rises, Sun Sets, Sun Rises, Sun Sets
What Wrong With This Picture
How Shall We Live?
Who knows all the ingredients God throws into a storm to make it? We can't know and don't need to know. It's enough to know that it has come from the hand of God who never forgets what it means to be faithful to his glorious promises. It is enough to know that it comes from a Holy Father who never abandons his wayward children. Habakkuk knew that and so he sings:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and fields produce no food, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
And tens of thousands down the years have sung the same song as they walked into the darkness where they know their divine Lover is.
We have no fear of ancient kings with names like Rezin of Damascus or Pekah the son of Remaliah (though we tend to worry about names like Stalin, Hitler, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein). We have no throne that is under threat but there are plenty of other things that worry us. Unemployment, getting old, dying, our children's future and such critically important things. And what gives us assurance for the future? Our network of influential friends and contacts? Our good health or financial security? The promises made to us by associates or doctors? The advances in medicine or the reputation we've gained with a good number of people? However fine these are and however helpful they are-they're limited, so ultimately there is and can be only one assurance that's worth having. It's hearing a certain someone say, Hello, my name's Immanuel.