Top 12 Old Testament Verses That Shape My View Of God

The opening line in A. W. Tozer’s Knowledge Of The Holy has stayed with me since I first read it years ago: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Because it affects every choice we make and everything we do, he compared a right concept of God to a foundation of a building. “Where it is inadequate or out of plumb,” he wrote, “the whole structure must sooner or later collapse.” Do you have an accurate view of God?

I have been reading a lot in the Old Testament lately. That’s easy for me to do because I love the Old Testament. The stories are rich, the people interesting, and the spiritual truth life changing. So I thought that I would make a list for myself (and share it with you) of the verses in the Old Testament that most shape my view of God.

1. Exodus 34:6 “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…” My soul needs to hear on a daily basis the good news that God always has been and always will be compassionate, gracious, patient, loving, and faithful to sinners like me.

2. Psalm 51:1 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” God’s mercy and compassion, not my efforts, is my hope in this world and the next.

3. Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God knows the pain of his people and is close by. We may find ourselves in the wilderness but we can be sure that not only are we not there by accident but neither are we alone.

4. 1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God doesn’t judge by human standards. 

5. Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Everything that comes my way, whether it be blessing or hardship, is from the hand of my sovereign God.

6. Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Religion that ignores the needs of people doesn’t please God. The God of the Bible loves justice.

7. Jonah 3:10  “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” No matter how far a person is from God, repentance and salvation is always near.

8. Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God is infinite and far beyond my comprehension.

9. Psalm 73:25 “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” God is what my soul longs for. He’s the greatest gift, the greatest treasure.

10. Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” God is sovereign over all things and is using all things–including painful, confusing, exasperating things–for good in my life and for his glory. 

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