Alright I understand more, and the responses are appreciated sorry I can't follow up invidiually...don't have much to say at the moment.
But regarding the OT God? It seemed like he was such a dictator, all these laws and commandments and I was reading when Moses got the Ten Commandments from mt Sinai and the language being used...it just seems like this is an all powerful distant God.
That is because He was. What I mean by that is there was the natural sepearation between Creator and creation, which the Fall widened into a chasm. This was symbolized/embodied by the curtain which seperated the Ark of the Covenant and us. At the Crucifixion, as St. Matthew tells us (27:51), it was torn in two, because of "the new and living way which He [Christ] opened for us through the veil, that is, through His flesh (Heb. 10:20). The Jewish Talmud (Yoma 39b) suprisingly provides corroboration: it tells us that for about 40 years before the destruction (70 AD) of the Temple (i.e. the time of Christ's Crucifixion ) every night the gates of the Temple would open of their own accord, and Rabbi Yohanan B. Zakkai rebuked them saying, "Temple, Temple, why do you alarm us? We know that you are destined to be destroyed"http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Parochet/parochet.html
Christ offered the archtype of which all the various sacrifices of the OT only prefigured and reflected various aspects of it, the Son of God and the Son of Man pouring out His being to join man to God.
When Moses asked God's name, he was reflecting the prevailing thought in the Middle East: to know a god's name was to be able to put the deity at this beck and call, much like one would call a dog and tell him to fetch. To this God tells Moses that He is above such things, that He is too big for their petty ideas of power:
Exodus 3:13 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Christ reiterates this, with a twist, when He says ""When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I AM, and that I do nothing on My own authority but speak thus as the Father taught Me." (John 8:28)
Once Moses asked to see God's glory:
18 Moses said, "I pray thee, show me Your glory." 19 And he said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you My name 'The LORD I AM'; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But," He said, "you cannot see My face; for man shall not see Me and live." 21 And the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by Me where you shall stand upon the rock; 22 and while My glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."
"Face," "hand" and "back" here are metaphorical, as God had no spatial dimensions. But when God entered space and time through the Incarnation, He replies to His disciples request, which echoes Moses':
John 14:8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does his works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
As St. Paul explains (II Cor. 3)
3 and you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness, fading as this was, 8 will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? 9 For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. 11 For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor. 12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. 14 But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But before that could occur, the way had to be prepared, which brings up your second comment.
I don't even know how you can interprete the OT God in the light of Christ, I am finding that much too hard to do.
The Fathers point out that Genesis, the first book of the OT law begins in Paradise and ends (Gen. 50:26) in a coffin in Egypt, underlying how far man had strayed. Scripture then takes up the giving of the Law in Exodus. To cut it short, for brevity's sake, the Law was given for many complimentary reasons, e.g. :1) to show that man cannot save himself. The OT records that unrepentent and unregenerated man repeats Adam's error in trying to be God without God, 2) to cultivate holiness from without so that He could in time come to cultivate holiness from within. The OT records a progressive narrowing down from Adam to Noah to Abraham to David all the way down to the Virgin Mary, the New Eve, who does not listen to the serpent's hissing promises of divinity but instead conceives God the Word through the ear (as the Fathers say) by hearing the call of God delievered by Gabriel and ansering "Behold the handmaiden of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." As my priest says, all of creation hung on her "yes" to God, as God didn't have a plan B. 3) to prepare the soil do that the new Creation would take root and grow without weeds. In the beginning of OT, the Hebrews are no better than their neighbors in idolatry and polytheism, and the degenerate morality that engendered. As Moses points out at the giving of the Law:
Deut. 7:6 "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples; 8 but it is because the LORD loves you, and is keeping the oath which he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and requites to their face those who hate him, by destroying them; he will not be slack with him who hates him, he will requite him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command you this day. 12 "And because you hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to your fathers to keep;...9:1 "Hear, O Israel; you are to pass over the Jordan this day, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves, cities great and fortified up to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, 'Who can stand before the sons of Anak?' 3 Know therefore this day that He who goes over before you as a devouring fire is the LORD your God; He will destroy them and subdue them before you; so you shall drive them out, and make them perish quickly, as the LORD has promised you. 4 "Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land'; whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that He may confirm the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 "Know therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. 7 Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you came out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD."
That centuries later the Hebrews were still not ready, the Prophet Amos lamented:
...2:4 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have rejected the law of the LORD,
and have not kept his statutes,
but their lies have led them astray,
after which their fathers walked.
5 So I will send a fire upon Judah,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem."
6 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of shoes--
7 they that trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
and turn aside the way of the afflicted;
a man and his father go in to the same maiden,
so that my holy name is profaned;
8 they lay themselves down beside every altar
upon garments taken in pledge;
and in the house of their God
they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
9 "Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
whose height was like the height of the cedars,
and whose strenght was that as the oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above,
and his roots beneath.
10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
and led you forty years in the wilderness,
to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
and some of your young men for Nazirites.
Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?" says the LORD.
12 "But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
and commanded the prophets 'You shall not prophesy.'
13 "Behold, I will press you down in your place,
as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
14 Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong shall not retain his strength,
nor shall the mighty save his life;
15 he who handles the bow shall not stand,
and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself,
nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
16 and he who is stout of heart among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day," says the LORD.
3:1 Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you,
O people of Israel,
against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
2 "Of all the families of the earth, I have known only you;
therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."
However, the Lord was determined to reveal Himself in Israel's seed, in spite of themselves, as the Prophet Hosea demonstrated (3):
1 And the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress; even as the LORD loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins [the pagan version of communion]." 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. 3 And I said to her, "You must dwell as mine for many days; you shall not play the harlot, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you." 4 For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.
Indeed, the Prophet Joel (2) both warns and promises:
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming,
it is near,
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people;
their like has never been from of old,
nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.
3 Fire devours before them,
and behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
but after them a desolate wilderness,
and nothing escapes them.
4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses,
and like war horses they run.
5 As with the rumbling of chariots,
they leap on the tops of the mountains,
like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble,
like a powerful army drawn up for battle.
6 Before them peoples are in anguish,
all faces grow pale.
7 Like warriors they charge,
like soldiers they scale the wall.
They march each on his way, t
hey do not swerve from their paths.
8 They do not jostle one another,
each marches in his path;
they burst through the weapons and are not halted.
9 They leap upon the city,
they run upon the walls;
they climb up into the houses,
they enter through the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes before them,
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The LORD utters his voice before his army,
for his host is exceedingly great;
he that executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?
12 "Yet even now," says the LORD,
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments."
Return to the LORD, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love,
and repents of evil.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and repent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a cereal offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?
It took the wake up call of the Babylonian Exile to set the Hebrews straight, and the Prophet Malachi directed them to continue on that path:
3:1 "Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? "For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years. 5 "Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts. 6 "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.
Thereafter we see in the books of the Maccabbees the Hebrews dying rather than follow their kinsmen in disobeying the Law and worshipping Antiochus as ""God Manifest," and eating pigs sacrificed to the Greek pantheon:
2 Maccabbees 7:9 And when he was at his last breath, he said, "You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws." 10 After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, 11 and said nobly, "I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again." 12 As a result the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man's spirit, for he regarded his sufferings as nothing. 13 When he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same way. 14 And when he was near death, he said, "One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!" 15 Next they brought forward the fifth and maltreated him. 16 But he looked at the king, and said, "Because you have authority among men, mortal though you are, you do what you please. But do not think that God has forsaken our people. 17 Keep on, and see how his mighty power will torture you and your descendants!" 18 After him they brought forward the sixth. And when he was about to die, he said, "Do not deceive yourself in vain. For we are suffering these things on our own account, because of our sins against our own God. Therefore astounding things have happened. 19 But do not think that you will go unpunished for having tried to fight against God!" 20 The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. 21 She encouraged each of them in the language of their fathers. Filled with a noble spirit, she fired her woman's reasoning with a man's courage, and said to them, 22 "I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. 23 Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws." 24 Antiochus felt that he was being treated with contempt, and he was suspicious of her reproachful tone. The youngest brother being still alive, Antiochus not only appealed to him in words, but promised with oaths that he would make him rich and enviable if he would turn from the ways of his fathers, and that he would take him for his friend and entrust him with public affairs. 25 Since the young man would not listen to him at all, the king called the mother to him and urged her to advise the youth to save himself. 26 After much urging on his part, she undertook to persuade her son. 27 But, leaning close to him, she spoke in their native tongue as follows, deriding the cruel tyrant: "My son, have pity on me. I carried you nine months in my womb, and nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in your life, and have taken care of you. 28 I beseech you, my child, to look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being. 29 Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God's mercy I may get you back again with your brothers." 30 While she was still speaking, the young man said, "What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command, but I obey the command of the law that was given to our fathers through Moses. 31 But you, who have contrived all sorts of evil against the Hebrews, will certainly not escape the hands of God. 32 For we are suffering because of our own sins. 33 And if our living Lord is angry for a little while, to rebuke and discipline us, he will again be reconciled with his own servants. 34 But you, unholy wretch, you most defiled of all men, do not be elated in vain and puffed up by uncertain hopes, when you raise your hand against the children of heaven. 35 You have not yet escaped the judgment of the almighty, all-seeing God. 36 For our brothers after enduring a brief suffering have drunk of everflowing life under God's covenant; but you, by the judgment of God, will receive just punishment for your arrogance. 37 I, like my brothers, give up body and life for the laws of our fathers, appealing to God to show mercy soon to our nation and by afflictions and plagues to make you confess that he alone is God, 38 and through me and my brothers to bring to an end the wrath of the Almighty which has justly fallen on our whole nation." 39 The king fell into a rage, and handled him worse than the others, being exasperated at his scorn. 40 So he died in his integrity, putting his whole trust in the Lord. 41 Last of all, the mother died, after her sons. 42 Let this be enough, then, about the eating of sacrifices and the extreme tortures.
Since the Hebrews had become singularly monotheistic that in such a monotheistic society that God could come and reveal Himself as Trinity without men falling into idolatry or polytheism with the revelation. It is only in this retrospect that the OT makes any sense.