Grace in the Old Testament? Yes, it does exist, and more than you would think. Most people have the impression that God is solely a God of wrath in the Old Testament. But God has always been a God of tremendous grace. If not, I wouldn’t be typing these words right now. God would’ve stopped the human race when Eve took that first bite.
Another example of this tremendous grace is in Deuteronomy 9. The new generation of Israelites is about to enter the Promised Land. Their parents all died in the wilderness because of their grumbling and disobedience. Deuteronomy begins with calls to remember what God has done and to teach it to successive generations. Here, God tells the next generation to be careful not to think they have earned an entrance into the Promised Land because of their righteousness.
Their parents were denied entrance because of their unbelief but this next generation is flesh of their flesh!
“Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people. Remember, do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.” Deuteronomy 9:6-7
This is our nature apart from God. We have such an inflated view of ourselves. The Israelites were closer to God than any people ever created. They witnessed more of his mighty saving acts on Earth than anyone has. Yet, they still couldn’t overcome their stubborn hearts and rebellious ways.
Grace is the only reason they were allowed entrance into the Promised Land. God is committed to his covenant and to his people. He desires to bless his people.
It is all grace.