The kids and I are continuing to work our way through Exodus in the mornings. At a chapter a day it's slow but steady going. Many of us know the Old Testament Bible stories, but as Sunday School tales. We know the gist but not the guts of the story.
Here's what I mean. We might know that God split the Red Sea, saving Israel in a dramatic way from Egypt. But we don't think about the ten plagues. How all encompassing they were. Over a period of ten months. How they affected every part of life. How the Bible says God hardened Pharaoh's heart after several of the plagues. Pharaoh hardened his own heart after the others. But God had a purpose in it all.
We also don't like to talk about that part of God's character. Often we focus so much on His grace and mercy that we ignore His justice side. The side that demands punishment for wrong-doing. The side that required Jesus to come to accept the punishment for us.
And without understanding this part of God's character through the Old Testament stories, we lose something deep and important in our faith.
What's an Old Testament story that surprised or challenged you when you went back and read it for yourself?