We love grace. We’re saved by it. We’re forgiven on account it. But what about those on the other side of the cross, the Old Testament saints? Did they experience grace? If they didn’t know Jesus like we do today, how we’re they forgiven?
Grace has always been a part of God’s plan. In Genesis 3, God promises to undo all that our original sin did. He promises to send the seed of a woman to crush the serpent’s head. That promise was made because he is gracious. He didn’t have to do that. He would have been completely justified in leaving us in our sin, or completely obliterating the entire species and starting over. But scripture tells us that God is a gracious, and that’s not just in the New Testament. In Psalm 78:38 it says,
“Yet [God], being compassionate,
atoned for their iniquity
and did not destroy them;
he restrained his anger often
and did not stir up all his wrath”
The context of this verse is a conversation about the rebellious nature of the Israelites. If there was ever a people that pushed God to his limits, it was them. Yet, God dealt graciously with them.
Over the next few days we’ll look at how grace is not a newly developed character trait for God in the New Testament. Grace is wrapped up in who he was, is, and will be.