How often we try and keep God in our little theological cages, thinking we’ve got Him sorted.
Many times we meet well-meaning believers or even whole churches who believe that God is either a big teddy-bear Santa figure or a wrathful unapproachable task-master.
The secular media love to highlight the latter especially, giving us the message “Who’d want to believe in, let alone worship a god like that?” They quote all the passages in the Old Testament about God sending terrible judgement on us, but ignore all the connected passages where God leaves the door open for restoration, often taking the initiative Himself.
On the other hand, many professing believers say: “Well, let’s just do what we like. God will forgive us! He’s too loving to send us to Hell!” and ignore scriptures like:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7. We only go to Hell (whatever form that takes) because we’ve chosen that road.
God is neither of those two extremes.
Yet we seem to go through seasons where God tends to be like one or the other.
We still haven't got the balance right yet!
But we see this balance right throughout scripture. A few more examples:
- Jesus was “full of grace and truth.” John 1:14,17
- Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” John 8:11 Note: He neither condemned her, nor condoned her behaviour.
- “Righteousness and justice make up the foundation of Your throne; gracious love and truth meet before you.” Psalm 89:14
Personally, I’d rather trust His justice than that of mere people, be they theologians or secular philosophers. He’s the only one who has the whole picture.
The laws of nature are consistent, and don’t let you off the hook because you defy them.
If God wasn’t consistent in being the ultimate dealer of justice, I’m convinced the whole universe would come apart at the seams, not just morally. But He has made provision for our restoration because He is not only our judge, He is our loving Father.
Relationship is what God is all about. He is not merely loving -- “God is love.”
I’d like to explore that a bit further.
(By the way, you're welcome to post comments below -- even challenging comments.
Healthy discussions on these things can be very helpful. I don't profess to be a guru-of-all-wisdom.
Anything overly negative or abusive will be deleted, however.)