God the Father isn’t Monstrous Like I Believed He Was

Image by cgrape from Pixabay

For many years, I utterly refused to read from the Old Testament as I felt that it was incredibly immoral and saw God the Father as a monster. I’d argue till the cows came home about how horrible the treatment of women was, saying that I didn’t care if the Old Testament was ancient literature, it still openly encouraged the mistreatment of certain kinds of people.

When I started reading the Old Testament again from beginning to end, what I saw was not someone monstrous, but someone who loved the humans he had created. I saw a God who was meeting people where they were at, and slowly developing a relationship with them.

It was a truly profound moment when I realized that God wasn’t upset because Adam and Eve ate a piece of fruit, he was grieving a relationship that had been fractured. Instead of trusting the God who made them, Adam and Eve believed the lying serpent over the God who created them, and instead of being content to walk with God, thought it sounded good to be like God.

Desiring to be like God had already not worked out for Lucifer, so I supposed I can see why, after Saint Michael threw him out of heaven, he would want to go to God’s favorite created being and try to get them to usurp him. Disguised as a beautiful serpent, then, Lucifer decided see if he could get back at God.

What he had not counted on was that God would actually want to restore the fractured relationship with humanity. I’m sure that must have royally pissed off Satan. God had him thrown out of heaven, and yet he wanted to have the humans reconciled to him. I guess Satan found out he was worth less to God than the animated pieces of dirt he had made.

After all, God had formed humans with his hands, in his own image and and likeness. Everything else in creation, God had spoken into being, but with humanity he had picked up dirt, formed a man, and then breathed his very own breath of life into that man so that the dirt creatures became living souls. The creation of humans was done with love and care.

Even through his grief, God wanted to salvage the relationship with the people he had created, and he began a process of restoration. He contronted Adam and Eve who tried to deflect responsiblity, which is a typical response for humankind. Anyway, God had this plan that he began to put into motion.

One day he made a covenant with a guy named Jacob, who I imagine was a relatively ordinary man. Jacob wrestled with God and prevailed, and God gave him a new name. Jacob became known as Israel, and he walked with a limp after the struggle with God. God promised to make a great nation out of Israel.

God had wanted a relationship with the children of Israel that showed his nature, but instead of living differently, they absorbed the gods and the practices of the people around them. They were not faithful to God, and again God grieved.

It seems to me by this point in my walk with Jesus, awfully strange that I didn’t want to know God and thought God was evil, but I was fine with worshiping those foreign gods myself. The gods of the Egyptians and the Canaanites were the ones I served, and as far as morality goes, these gods were evil. God is different.

As I’ve begun to see an overview of salvation history, of people’s relationship with the one true God, I’ve begun to see things in a completely different way, with fresh eyes and understanding.

to be continued…

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MaryClare StFrancis, M.A.

MaryClare StFrancis, M.A.

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She/her. I write memoirs, feature articles, essays, poetry, and more.