Have you ever thought God was just "out to get you?"
Even some of the old paintings of antiquity show God with this scowl on His face, like He's the ultimate enforcer of the Universe. It's almost like they've created this 'one side' of who God is to keep people in line, or come up with their own agenda, or just make God into the angry old man ready to strike someone dead at a moments notice.
Well, the Bible is pretty clear about God's righteousjudgment. There's no mistaking the flood, Ananias and Sapphira, the carriers of the ark, or the myriad of other people who fell wrath to God's judgment while not taking His words serious.
I understand people who want to keep God in the judgment seat. Some people need a reinforcement of their own view of morality, and they allow this 'policeman' in the sky to hover over everyone else. Some need power, and so they use this judgment to cast fear on the people who might not know enough, or think someone has a clearer connection to the spiritual world. I get it.
Let's not be mistaken, judgment is within His character. It's a part of who He is. He told Adam and Eve, "Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and when they did; He banished them from paradise. Man, that seems like a mean guy, doesn't it? I mean, how could you just send them on their way.
But don't forget….
He still provided for them.
How could a loving God wipe out the whole of humanity through a global catastrophe? Surely that God was just twiddling His fingers in anticipation something would go wrong. Right?
But don't forget….
He still provided a way.
God is a God who takes His law and His Word very serious, but let's not err too far on the side of judgment. Because even in the face of persecution or rebuke, God provides a way.
Lamentations 3 says, "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (v.22-23)
So this morning, I thank the God of the Universe. For He is not like other 'gods.' His mercy and compassions still permeate through the character of judgment.
He still provided a way through all life's failures.
"For God so Love the World, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever would believe in Him, would not perish, but Have Ever Lasting Life." (John 3:16)
"The Thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
So today, I urge you to begin weaving the two concepts of God together. He's not merely a law enforcer, as much as He is a God of ultimate sacrifice, that you might have life today and in the future.