Remember that age when kids ask Why to everything?
That is how I feel most of the time with God.
Why did God flood the earth?
Why was God so mean in the Old Testament?
Why couldn’t God just give us Jesus from the very beginning?
Why did Jesus have to die?
Why does God allow bad things to happen?
As I was starting a new bible study a few months ago, I was very nervous.  It was covering the first 12 books in the Old Testament.  I had heard some of the stories but honestly God sounded very mean to me in those stories so I preferred the New Testament.  God put it on my heart to read it for myself to grow closer to Him in our relationship.
This my friend was a game changer for me.  I finished the study a few weeks ago and I was in tears.  I will try my best to summarize my learnings for you.
As a parent you understand how it feels when you ask your child repeatedly to clean his/her room and time after time he/she ignores you, lies to you, makes excuses or just rebels completely.  During this time the punishment gets more and more severe until finally as a parent you lose it.  You are at a loss on how to get through to your child and how to get them to follow your rules.  You place rules in place to teach them life lessons, to grow as a responsible adult, to learn how to live and enjoy a successful life.  You also understand that no matter how many times they rebel or disappoint you, you still love them unconditionally.  There is nothing they can do to make you love them any more or less than you already do.
Now multiply that by a billion – I imagine that is how God felt in the Old Testament.  Here are a few examples of how God’s children disobeyed:
Genesis – Eve, she ate the apple from the tree of knowledge.  The part of this story that I think most overlook is how/why this happened.  God did not want us to eat the apple because this would allow us to have the knowledge of good AND evil in the world (imagine that, our Father was protecting us).  Before this we only knew good things of this world, everything was perfect.  Eve thought that if she ate the apple she would have all the knowledge that God had and that she wouldn’t need God anymore.  Another example, Cain killed his brother over jealousy.  From the very beginning we wanted to blame others for our mistakes.  Cain didn’t give his best to God, that is why he was jealous of his brother.  He could have given his best but his heart was in the wrong place.  So instead of learning and looking at himself to improve, he looked to destroy his own blood.
Exodus – After God brought the Israelite’s out of Egypt, it was not long and they were already complaining and wishing they were back in Egypt working like slaves.  Why is it that we ALWAYS want what we don’t have?  It’s not like the Israelite’s were happy in Egypt when they were there either.  Grumbling and complaining caused the wandering around the wilderness, not God.  God knew that they would not be happy no matter what he gave them (ungrateful children).  So he waited for that generation to die so that he could take the next generation to the promise land.  Another example, Israelite’s get impatient while Moses is on the mountain getting the 10 commandments from God (40 days) and when Moses comes down they have made an idol, golden calf, to worship.  Much like ourselves even today, the Israelite’s wanted that instant gratification that our human body tells us we have to have in order to “be happy”.  You may laugh thinking “how can a golden calf make you happy” silly Israelite’s…well what about that new car, new dress, new shoes, new purse and yes even more new bibles (I am guilty of this too)…when you already have more than enough of what you NEED.
Leviticus – Nadab and Abihu (Aaron’s sons) knowingly sacrificed incorrectly so they were consumed in the fire.  God had told them what to sacrifice and how to sacrifice, yet they choose to disobey and do it their own way.  They paid the ultimate price and died for it.  So often we try to control our world, our circumstances and then wonder why we are so stressed and why the harder you try the more things seem to fall apart.  God never once in the bible tells us that we need to control everything, to figure things out, never…
Numbers – The Israelite’s were complaining about not having anything to drink (they complained constantly about anything and everything).  God told Moses to take his staff and speak to the rock, water would come out of it for them to drink.  Moses was so frustrated with the Israelite’s and out of that frustration he struck the rock twice to get the water to come out (Moses’s sin).  Our sin is ours, nobody makes us do anything, we are responsibility for our own actions, Moses’s learned that the hard way.  God would not allow him to go to the promise land due to this sin.
Joshua – After the fall of Jericho, Achan stole some of the devoted item that were meant to be put into the Lord’s house.  Selfishly wanting to keep some for himself, he broke Israel covenant with God.  Can you relate?  Have you ever told your kids, you can eat anything in the kitchen but NOT to eat all the candy?  We tell our kids that to ensure they don’t get upset stomach, to ensure they get the other foods that they need before filling up on junk.  Well God told his children here is the promise land and everything I promised your ancestors but give me the precious items to ensure they kept their hearts pure and their priorities straight. I encourage you to read Joshua 5:13 – 7:26 to hear the story, pray about it and meditate over this.  This story really shined light on my heart when I start getting my greed versus my needs out of balance.
Judges – When the judges ruled the Israelite’s, the people disobeyed God by not driving out all the inhabitants of the land.  Consequently, their children were drawn into worshiping the Baals and they were a generation that did not know God.  In their own promised land they became slaves to the people they should have conquered.  God raised up judges to restore them, but time and again they fell back into the same disobedience.
Right about this time, I was ready for God to flood the Earth again….
Samuel – King David took Basheba when married to Uriah, she became pregnant so King David had Uriah killed in battle; Solomon had so much love and devotion for the Lord but as he loved thousands of foreign woman (which was a sin) they turned his heart away from God.
Kings – Israelite’s complained and begged God to give them a King (to be like other nations) to rule over them.  So God gave them a King, they were not happy with THAT King.  King after King the sinning continued and they grew further and further away from God.  Here are a few evil Kings that ruled over time, Ahab worshiped Baal and built a temple for Baal; Manasseh sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, consulted mediums and spiritists and led the people to worship idols; Amon…Jehoahaz….Jehoiakim….Jehoiachin…Zedekiah….I really could go on and on about the evil that the Kings had done. There were a few good Kings during this time but they were far and few between and they never had enough time to undo everything that the other Kings had already done over time.
By the end of Kings I was in tears.  I see God as a heartbroken Father that loved his children so much and wanted them to live a wonderful life according to his commands.  He gave us those commands to keep us safe from Satan and to keep our heart fixed on Him at all times.  What parent does NOT want that for their kids????
So really the Why questions that I have had my whole life God’s word answered…
Why did God flood the earth?  
There was so much evil in the world that he wanted to give us a chance with a clean slate.  He saw good in Noah so he started over with his family.
Why was God so mean in the Old Testament? 
He wasn’t at all, God was the most patient father and offered grace and mercy every chance he could.  It brought to mind how when we give our kids everything they want, some become brats, ungrateful and feel that the world owes them anything/everything they want.  If we don’t give our kids enough we feel bad and want to give them more, we want them to be happy and to not have to worry about anything, but the more we give them the more the expect and demand.  Some make it out alright by the grace of God.
Why did Jesus have to come?
The world so badly needed a Savior.  Our world now is a dark and evil world but we have Jesus now so no matter what happens we have the light that lives in us and no one can take that away.  Back then the world had more evil and was darker than today.  People did not know God and definitely did not have a personal relationship with him.  He made himself human so that we could relate to him and him to us.  It was his way of coming into our lives to grow closer to us and in the end for us to grow closer to him.  If you have a teenager, then you can probably relate.  If you want to grow closer to your teenager then you have to get into their world, do things that they like to do, go places with them where they want to go, all in order to get them to open up and share their life and heart with you, in order to have a closer relationship.  If you are waiting for your teenager to come home and want to talk to you and spend time with you doing only what you want to be doing, most likely you will have your own life and your teenager will have his own life and you won’t have that close personal relationship the way you want.
Why did Jesus have to die?
This was the ultimate demonstration of God’s love for us.  This is what I struggled with the most, to understand the why behind it.  God came into our world in human form as Jesus, so instead of looking at it as God sacrificing his son for us, I am forced to look at it through my “mom” eyes.  I would die for my kids, anytime, any day with no questions asked.  That is what God did, He was born and walked in our dark world and died for us, his children, so that we would know how much he truly loves us.
Why does God allow bad things to happen?
Just to be clear, God does not cause bad things to happen but he does allow bad things to happen in our lives and the main reason is to bring us closer to Him.  The only thing we can depend on is God.  God never makes bad things happen to us because he loves us, he is a good father, the perfect parent.  God can take the worst of nightmares and create the most beautiful love story.  As we go through storms in this life, that is when we depend on God and turn to Him, He builds our faith and forms our character for His purpose.  When things are going good, I find myself praying sometimes for “character building” situations to come into my life, mainly so I can ensure I am depending and trusting God and his will for my life.  I do not for one second ever want to think that I can make it through a day, hour or minute without God by my side.  And my friend, when that happens you will find fulfillment and joy that nothing in this world can give you.
I know this was long but I really encourage you to seek God’s word and life lessons in the Old Testament, find God’s grace, mercy and love in the stories.  Pray and meditate over just one chapter at a time and wait to see what God reveals to you, you will be amazed and realize how much God loves you, His precious child.