“Most people—past and present—think that God can be approached by anyone, in any way. They believe that God is always loving and embracing, never wrathful and judging. But that isn’t true. God appears this way—and Hebrews highlights it for us—to demonstrate that God is a lethal threat to anyone who dares approach Him through the law.”
(Tim Barnett – Stand To Reason) We are all prone to imagine a god that is more like our culture than who God truly is. If we’re not careful, the culture will shape our view of God.
For example, the summum bonum—the highest good—of our culture is tolerance. Not surprisingly, as our culture becomes more tolerant and less concerned about sin, so does the god they worship.
To support the idea that God is getting more tolerant, some appeal to the Bible. After all, God isn’t raining down fire and brimstone like He did in the Old Testament. He isn’t turning people into pillars of salt for disobedience. No, something has changed. But it’s not God.
There is a difference between how God relates to people in the Old Testament and how God relates to people in the New Testament, but it’s not because of a change in His character. If God hasn’t changed, then what has?
Allow me to explain. To do so, I want to spend some time looking at a significant text in Hebrews where the author contrasts how God relates to people under the old and new covenants in different ways.