Friday, August 22, 2008
God's Inner Conflict?
At last someone has said something dumb enough to break my blogger's block!
In Monday's (8/18) USA Today op-ed page, a Mr. Thomas Dunham of Hillsdale, Illinois commented on the use of the phrase "Act of God", calling it a "misnomer". He stated that it is wrong to attribute floods and hurricanes, etc. to God; and that they should be attributed to satan. The statement he made that got my blogging juices flowing was: "God is love. He can do no other besides love".
Now, I never deny that we have a loving God. The Scriptures make that clear (I John 4:8); but far too many Christians trumpet God's love at the expense of His holiness and justice. God is love AND God is Just! Again, I find this to be another horrendous example of how people have created a god after their own image.
Has anyone read the oft neglected book of Nahum recently? Here's how God describes Himself . . .
"The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies" Nahum 1:2
"Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness" Nahum 1:6-8
"Behold, I am against you,
declares the Lord of hosts,
and will lift up your skirts over your face;
and I will make nations look at your nakedness
and kingdoms at your shame.
I will throw filth at you
and treat you with contempt
and make you a spectacle" Nahum 3:5-6
Now, of course these words were directed to the cruel and godless Ninevites and I'm not saying this is the reason behind every flood or hurricane; but does God feel any different toward His enemies today? I think not, as He says in Malachi 3:6, "For I the Lord do not change . . ."
Maybe the reason there is so little awe of God (even in His church) is that in an attempt to be His "public relations men" we have not proclaimed ALL the attributes of God. Maybe by playing up God as doting grandfather and playing down God the Just Judge, we have led folks to believe that they can live however they please and even if they are wrong God will just "understand".
We should not be afraid of God (that is if you are His); but we should still reverence Him and tremble at His awesome might and holiness. And this trembling, paradoxically, should be the most reassuring and comforting thing in the world to us. For if this awesome, mighty and holy God tells us He loves us and that nothing can separate us from Him; we should be the most confident, assured and obedient people on the face of the earth.
On the other hand, the unbeliever should be afraid . . . VERY AFRAID. For he is an enemy of God:
"remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" Eph 2:12.
God's love is NOT at war with His justice. God is to be glorified for every saints he brings into heaven; and God is to be glorified for every sinner He condemns to hell. The saint receives mercy instead of justice, the sinner receives justice instead of mercy; neither saint nor sinner receives injustice. God is Holy.
Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!! (Acts 17:11)