Yahweh’s unearthly patience

The impression we get from 1–2 Kings is not that God is a stingy disciplinarian with an anger problem. If anything, the God of 1–2 Kings is irresponsibly indulgent toward his people, a God who does not seem to realize he cannot run the world without a dose of law and order. By the time Judah is sent into Babylonian exile in 2 Kgs. 25, we are not saying, “My, what a harsh God”; if we read attentively, we are saying, “It’s about time! What took him so long?” The offense of the theology proper of 1–2 Kings is not that God is angry with the innocent. The offense is the offense of Jonah — the offense of God’s mercy, the offense of Yahweh’s unearthly patience with the irascible and unresponsive.

Peter Leithart