One of my “hobbies” is the value of the Old Testament writings. I have even outlined a book dealing with the heresy of Marcion among churches of Christ that I hope to write some day.
It is a problem not contained to any one group of Christians. “Conservative/traditionalists” might “rightly divide” the OT right out and “progressive/liberals” might not want to include God’s Wrath and violent past while emphasizing Grace.
My biggest pet peeve surrounding this issue, is the polytheism that arises when trying to drive a wedge between the “god of the OT vs the god of the NT” by placing them in stark contrast. Some have backed themselves into this corner because they don’t like what the “god of the OT” did so they have to rationalize that he drastically changed at/after the cross, that Jesus the Son is somehow better, more loving, than God the Father.
Or, we assume that God the Father was repulsive and cranky, so he sent Jesus to win us over with his gentleness and personality, instead of with Truth and His Blood. We make a fool of David and others who had deep relationships with the Father.
At least Marcion was straightforward and claimed the OT god was a lesser god. Sadly, some Christians believe that today although they would never admit it.
Anyway, the following are links to a sermon series I preached on the Grace and Mercy of God in the Old Testament days, before the Cross. I hope they will help some to re-evaluate their understanding of God. I hope you will read the OT scriptures with God’s great love, grace, and mercy in view.
Grace in the OT, Part 1: Introduces the series by looking at how God revealed himself to Moses on Mt Sinai. Then, deals mainly with God’s mercy in the book of Genesis
Grace in the OT, Part 4: God’s Passionate and Jealous Love. This lesson starts with the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and then moves through the Prophets to see that God doesn’t just love, he is a lover and a passionate lover. His wrath and anger are rooted in his passionate and jealous love for his people.