I’m preaching a text tomorrow morning that breaks down a common fallacy that floats around in some circles.
The text: Habakkuk 2:5-20
The fallacy: That God is schizophrenic
I have heard many people talk about the idea that the “God of the Old Testament” and the “God of the New Testament” are somehow mutually exclusive. A common misnomer in these circles is that the OT God is angry, wrathful, and always hungry to eat people alive. The NT God, on the other hand, is much “nicer.” Somewhere between the OT and the NT God took a giant antacid pill, and Jesus is the result of His indigestion being gone.
If you don’t go past the surface level when reading the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, this kind of thinking can sneak in. But if you dig just beyond the surface, you find there is a consistent theme woven throughout the First Testament. It is the theme that redemption is coming. It is the shadow of a figure whose face has yet to be recognized. It’s like the click-clack of shoes approaching from a distance, which grows ever louder as Messiah draws near.
At first glance Habakkuk 2:5-20 confirms the idea of a wrath-filled God who is bent on judgment. This revelation is true. God does have wrath, and the target of His wrath is painted squarely on the soul of every sinner. But if you don’t ignore 2:14 you’ll hear and see Messiah approaching. Every sinner must give an answer to God’s wrath. That answer is a Name. Habakkuk 2:14, which is re-quoted from a prophet who died over a century before Habakkuk, gives us that Name.