When Did God Become So Understanding?

I’m not sure when the change came but God certainly has become more understanding over the years. Maybe God is just mellowing with age?  When reading the Bible, we see countless examples of God giving clear commandments of what His people are to do.  Take, for example, Numbers 9.  In Numbers 9 God outlines what is required for the celebration of Passover each year. 
The specifications God gives here would be considered rigid by many today. God commands what month, what day, even what time of the day the meal was to be observed.  Other details were given as to the menu and who could and couldn’t eat the meal. Everyone was expected to participate according to the rules or face the consequences (Numbers 9:12-13).
Fast forward to today, though, and we see a God who is much more flexible.   Examples of this abound.  Regular participation in worship?  “I know I should be in church more but God understands that I am busy.”  Faithful financial support of the kingdom?  “I really want to be able to give more but God understands that I have bills to pay.”   Responsibilities in the church?  “If I wasn’t so stressed out right now, I’d be glad to work with that but God understands I have too much on my plate right now.”
Fortunately for us, God isn’t as hard headed as He was in the Old Testament.   Today’s flexible God is much more understanding than the Old Testament God who said no one was to come to worship Him without an offering (Ex0. 23:15).
When exactly did God become so understanding, though?  Many of us claim that God is understanding when we don’t do what the Bible says they are to do, but exactly when did this transformation in God take place? And while we just assume this idea of an understanding God is correct, what are we to do with verses like Hebrews 13:8 which affirms that Jesus is the same “yesterday, today and forever”?
Is it possible that God isn’t as understanding as we have made Him out to be?  Instead of seeing God as a holy God who deserves our worship and service, we have created a God in our minds who is much more willing to bend to our lives than we are expected to shape our lives around Him.  A God who isn’t worth bending our lives around is not a God worthy of our worship.
However, we shouldn’t swing too far back in the other direction, though.  God is understanding.  In Numbers 9, for example, if someone was excluded from celebrating Passover due to uncleanliness stemming from touching a dead body, God allowed him to celebrate the exact same meal a month later.  And Jesus affirmed the practice of working to get an animal out of a ditch on the Sabbath.  Drifting over into rigid legalism misses the mark as well.  God does allow for exceptions but when the exceptions to obedience in our lives outnumber the actual times we obey God, we have a problem.  When we keep expecting God to understand why we don’t do what He has told us to do, we should remember that God does understand. He understands that we are being disobedient.  And for the record, He isn’t OK with it.  Never has been.  Never will be.  Do we understand that?

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