God, strictly-speaking, is Mystery. Yet, this gracious God has made himself known ‘for us and for our salvation’ -- in the words of Scripture and, ultimately, in the Word-made-flesh: Jesus of Nazareth. The focus here is on the Old Testament. The reason is because, for many, the God of the Old Testament is a forbidding figure. It is a misperception that calls out for challenge. It will be shown that God is consistently gracious and loving and displays unyielding concern for us. Traditionally, God has been cast as a just Judge. Consideration of the biblical notion of justice will suggest that this role be re-examined. And, in place of a ‘wrathful’ God we should look to a suffering God. There can be no questioning the mercy of God. What must be questioned is our tendency to limit its range. The author of the first letter of John has proclaimed: ‘God is love’ (1 John 4: 7, 16). This God of love is manifest in the Scripture of Israel. He is a gracious Parent, alert to human suffering, forgiving of human sin. This is the God we need, This is our God.
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