It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Yikes. This reminds me of the Jonathan Edwards sermon “Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God.” I think far too often we want to focus on the happy traits of God, the ones that make us comfortable, like his unconditional love and his abounding mercy. You know, the ones that are easy to understand without having to really grapple with who God is as displayed throughout all of scripture. How do we reconcile the vengeful God who wiped out everyone but Noah’s family with the God who spared Nineveh? How do we compare the God who rained fire on Sodom and Gomorrah with the God who forgave a murdering adulterer like David? I believe the answer is incredibly simple and profoundly complex, as it should be. For, who am I, the created, to ask the creator why he does anything. (Romans 9:20-23) Yet to love him I must wrestle with all of this and come to some conclusions that are helpful.
Into this confusion steps the beauty of the blood stained cross. In a single moment, the wrath of God is forever removed from those who call upon the name of Christ. In that moment of ghastly gore I was made equal with those in Nineveh and with David, a child of the most high God. My sin is forever removed from me because of what he accomplished on the cross so that when God looks at me, he sees the perfection of His son instead of all my wretched sin that had me lower than those in Sodom and Gomorrah. “All have sinned and fall short”, (Romans 3:23) and we all should have “a fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume [HIS] adversaries.” (vs. 27)
So is God a vengeful, angry judge? I believe so. Is God “rich in mercy”? (Ephesians 2:4-5) I believe so. How do we reconcile the difference? We must understand that God is seeking true worshipers who will love him with their heart and soul and believe he sent his son to wash away our sin! So simple in its wonderful complexity. Still struggling? Good, continue to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
Father God, help me continue to work out my salvation. Help me to ask the right questions and quietly wait for your answers. Help me to see the truth of who you are and what you have done. Help me finish the race set out for me.