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Before Christ was God considered to have been at odds with his people and then peace was made after Christ's work???

Hi Pete!

Thank you for (another?!) interesting question.

The first fact that I would wish to establish is that, of course, the Christ is God!  That would lead to a minor amendment to your question so that it read, e.g., "Was God under the old covenant considered to have been at odds with His people, and then peace made under the new covenant?"

It seems to be a misapprehension on the part of many that the 'God' of the Old Testament is a different 'God' to that of the New Testament.  However, the Bible makes it clear that He is one and the same: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever." (Heb 13:8).

So, we are led to ask "Did God, under the old covenant, care for the people of the old covenant, the Children of Israel; or was He at odds with them?"  I would suggest that even a cursory reading of the Old Testament record would clearly show that the former is the case.

In Ex.34:6-7 we read God's self-description: "YHWH, YHWH, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."   Such a compassionate God is not "at odds" with His people but, as the words also show, He is the God of justice, and will deal with those who constantly reject Him!

Again, in Deut 4:31 we read the words of Moses: "... YHWH your God is a merciful God; He will not fail you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them."  Doesn't sound, to me, like a God Who is "at odds with His people!

To take just one further example, we read these words of David in Ps 86:5 - "For thou, O YHWH, art good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on Thee."

Of course, the history of the Jewish people is one of constantly turning their backs on God.  They failed to recognise Messiah; they allowed themselves to be bound up in endless rules and regulations (if you think that those in the OT are somewhat overwhelming, you should do some research on Halakhah!); they failed to recognise Him as the God of love - in spite of such messages as Ex.15:13; Is.63:7; Hos.2:19.

So, in answer to your question, God was not at odds with His people prior to the Incarnation.  However, His chosen people constantly rebelled against Him and rejected Him.  He, on the other hand, continued to yearn after them.  The Incarnation was (is) His full and final revelation of Himself, and opened the way for men and women to approach Him directly, without priesthood, animal sacrifice, or ritual.  Jesus, alone, is the Way - and the Truth and the Life!

I trust that the above will have been of some help.  Please feel free to ask a supplemental question if there is anything that I have not made clear enough.

Best wishes.  

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Rev C.Brian Ross


I am happy to offer answers to anyone with a question that refers to the Christian Faith in its widest possible sense. I believe that the Bible is the living Word of God, and seek to base all of my life on its teaching. I also have some knowledge of some of the cults, and of Islam and Judaism. Of course, my answers are just one man's thoughts, and I would always advise a questioner to check with others, and with the Word of God.


Served as a full-time parish minister in Scotland for about six years, and then spent the last thirty as a teacher (now 'retired') of Religious Education in Secondary Comprehensive schools (ages 11-17) while continuing my own preaching and teaching ministry. I have spent three years as a voluntary Chaplain with Strathclyde Police Force. I also believe that learning is a life-time process, and have recently completed a Master's degree in Divinity. I now spend most of my time in France, ministering mainly to English-speaking groups.

Former Presenter on Revival FM - a local Christian, community radio station, broadcasting in west central Scotland, and online at Involved with a number of organisations that support Christians who are currently suffering persecution in some 70 countries around the world. Until the formation of the new Police Scotland Force, I was a Chaplain with Strathclyde Police Force, deployed within 'Q' and 'N' Divisions, and also responsible for the Force Training and Recruitment Centre.

Various articles in Christian magazines. I also maintain a blog - My first book, Great Words of the Faith, is available as a Kindle e-book at My second book, Foundations of the Faith, is available as a Kindle e-book at*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Diploma of The Bible Training Institute, Glasgow; Licentiate in Theology of the University of Glasgow; Associateship of The Philosophical Society of England; Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) in History from The Open University; Post-grad Certificate of Education - Religious Education and History; Post-grad Certificate in Learning and Teaching; Post-grad Diploma in Management and Learning in Education; Master of Science Degree from the University of Strathclyde; Master of Divinity Degree (with Distinction) from Trinity College and Seminary (accredited by the University of Liverpool)

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