Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Scary God

"I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more. Though you be sought for, you will never be found again, declares the Lord GOD." - Ezekial.

I read these encouraging words this morning and it got me thinking that I definitely don't want to cross God. In fact I don't even want to make him slightly angry. It also reminded me of how so much of what we worry about - politics, corruption and violence - is being watched over by a just God who definitely will deal justice.

So on the one hand I'm really glad that I don't have to face God's wrath because Christ's obedient life and death covers me, and on the other I'm really relieved that God's in control. Maybe it's why I don't pay much attention to politics. Heck, I don't even read the newspaper. (For all of you out there that are aghast at my lack of cultural engagement, I listen to NPR. That should trump all.)

A lot of people struggle with God's judgement oracles in the OT. I do as well. How could a merciful and loving God be so judgemental? He kind of seems mean doesn't he. But the finger our hearts (do hearts have fingers?) point at God when we read these oracles need to be pointed back on us. We brought evil into the world and we deserve infinitely more wrath than God deals.

These oracles remind me to fear God. To give him honor as the one who can build a nation up and tear it down. He can give a king a crown or make him sit on a really pointy one. God is in control. God is to be honored.

And if you are frightened of God, that may not be such a bad thing. I really want to qualify this though. It's qualified by the God of the Cross. The God who gave up everything to be with you and me. The God who could have smited us from the cosmos, delighted in us enough to pay the ultimate price and more for our freedom.

Don't be frightened of God because he's a jerk like your father or something. Be frightened of God because he is Good and we are Bad. The good news is that we are way worse than we think, and way more loved than we dare imagine (thank you Tim Keller I think). Cling to you righteousness in Christ and rejoice!

"The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love."

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