In the Old Testament, God was presented as a fearful figure. He always appears in great glory, with thunders, lightning and fire, and accompanied by multitudes of Heavenly beings. He was also strict and severe, and prompt to punish when anyone sins.
The only response to Him was FEAR! In fact, His people were so afraid of Him that they did not even dare to see His face or speak with Him.
Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Exodus 20:19
In the New Testament, on the contrary, God appears as a humble suffering servant as represented by Jesus Christ, and He is always ready to work selflessly to serve His people.
Jesus answered, "... Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." John 14:9
Did God Change?
While I was meditating upon this, I thought to myself: "Did God change?" Then almost immediately the Holy Spirit reminded me of the time of Creation.
And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Genesis 2:9
God Loves Us Ever Since the Beginning!
God has not changed! He has loved us since Creation!
God produced fruits not only to feed His people, He even took extra steps to make each fruit look beautiful so it brings pleasure to the eyes of men when we eat them! Why would He bother to do so if He does not love mankind? He could have just given us manna or even grass, which would already be enough to satisfy our physical hunger!
Re-reading the Creation story makes me think of a loving father who is carefully decorating his house, buying food, toys, and all necessary utensils to prepare for the arrival of his unborn sons.
Then Why was God so Severe in the Old Testament?
I could not find a direct answer from the Bible. My guess is: it may be necessary at that time because of different development stages of mankind.
How can a father explain to newborn babes all the dangers in this world? The most effective way to keep them safe is to make them fear him so they will take heed to whatever the father tells them to do or not to do. When the child has grown up, the father can then explain to him why he should not play with guns or take drugs, and why he should observe all the laws in the society where he lives.
Wherefore the law was our teacher to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith has come, we are no longer under a teacher. Galatians 3:24-25
Knowing God by Asking Why
I love to ask why when I read the Bible, and I believe this is what makes the Bible so enchanting to me.
God's ways are so different from ours, and it almost excites me every time the Holy Spirit reveals to me the works of God. Even though I am not yet able to put most of these revelations in writings, I hope everyone can seek and drink from this living water which would truly satisfy our souls. I find that: