1"At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts.
2"This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the LORD'S remission has been proclaimed.
3"From a foreigner you may exact it, but your hand shall release whatever of yours is with your brother.
4"However, there will be no poor among you, since the LORD will surely bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess,
5if only you listen obediently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today.
6"For the LORD your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.
Right after the chapter that God commanded stonings, He gave instructions about forgiving debts and helping those in need! It is impossible for me to keep these two opposing views of God in my little brain at one time. On the one hand, He is Just and Holy demanding death to those who go after other gods. On the other hand, He is Love and Compassion in caring for His people and directing them to forgive debts.
The cross of Jesus brought these two aspects of God's character together. If God was not Just, there would have been no need for someone to pay for the sins and Christ would not have died on a cross. However, if God was not Love, there would have been no need for Christ to pay for our sins in our place and again, He would not have died on a cross. A focus on Christ and the cross is the only way I can keep a right understanding about God's character as I read the Old Testament.
I read on my facebook page yesterday, these words... "if grace were water, we would all be drowning." As I look at the cross of Christ, that's exactly what I see, overflowing grace that overwhelms this broken world and is so very available to each and every person who chooses to receive it.