Two of the Bible stories that haunt my memory years after having last read the Bible in its entirety or gone to church regularly-- and I don't even know if I remember them correctly or if my mind has modified them into some more poetic version in the years that they've been stored away-- are the stories of Doubting Thomas's reaction to Christ's resurrection from the dead, and of Saul of Tarsus's conversion to Christianity. The Doubting Thomas story is at John 20:24-29. Saul's conversion story is at Acts 9 if you want to check. I am not going to bother for the moment.
Both stories-- at least as I understand them all these years later-- depict God/Christ presenting himself to human criteria for belief. I always felt sympathy for Thomas and the horrible moniker hung on him by believers; his doubt that a man he had seen crucified would rise from the dead three days later seems reasonable to me. But what is touching to me is that Jesus appealed both to his belief and his unbelief. He appealed to his belief by appearing to him as Jesus the Nazarene, whom Thomas well knew; and he appealed to his unbelief by presenting his wounded palms to Thomas for examination. By doing so, Christ expanded Thomas's vision of him to include "Lord" and "God," which Thomas called him after he saw the holes in his hands. Christ gave him proof. That strikes me as sympathetic, coming as it did from the same Jesus who had often refused to perform miracles on demand. Once Thomas saw the wounds, his doubt gave way to a faith that transcended the evidence.
In the story of Saul's conversion, too, Yahweh revealed himself to the man in a way that fitted with his conception of who God was, at once fulfilling and transcending it, if only so that Saul would recognize him. Like Thomas, Saul's understanding of God was not so much incorrect as it was incomplete. He saw Yahweh as a God of vengeance and of judgment, and therefore saw it fit to mete out that judgment on Christians. This was, after all, the same Yahweh that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, flooded the earth, and sent plagues on Egypt. Yet it was also Yahweh who spared Lot and his sons from Sodom, who rescued Noah's family and all of the animals of the earth from the flood, and who led the Israelites to the Promised Land.
God did not condemn Saul for his lack of understanding. Instead, when he met Saul on the road to Damascus with a blinding light from heaven, he appeared within Saul's understanding of his character, as a God of vengeance. God inserted himself into Saul's framework of understanding and then enlarged Saul's concept of who he was; he expanded Saul's vision of God to include the Christ whose followers Saul had been persecuting. When a voice called out to Saul and said, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?," Saul perceived that it was God who was addressing him and that he was unacquainted with his full character.
Both Thomas and Saul encountered a God who matched their limited understanding of his character and who subsequently transformed their understanding, broadening it to encompass a more complete view of his nature.