Tuesday, August 18, 2009

God is Love?

Lamentations 2:2
(2) The Lord has swallowed up without mercy all the habitations of Jacob; in his wrath he has broken down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; he has brought down to the ground in dishonor the kingdom and its rulers.

I continue discussing the nature of God with some folks at an online message board. The leader of that board insists that his view of God is correct. He sees God as love, but not necessarily as personal. He also sees all religions as basically the same. Of course, these things aren't true, though there are elements of truth to his belief. I am trying to give a biblical view of who God is. Hopefully someone will listen there.

This verse really turns the whole "God is love" concept on its ear, doesn't it? Yes, there are two verses that describe God this way in 1 John, but to see Him simply as love at the exclusion of His other traits is a big mistake. Here we see that God is just. In fact, we see that He "has swallowed up without mercy." That doesn't sound like the God we know, right?

We must remember that God is holy. He is also just. His holiness and justice demand satisfaction for sin. That is what Christ accomplished on the cross. He did not show mercy to His Son, but let Him bear the curse of the Father's wrath. What a Savior!

And, lest we think that the Old Testament God is somehow different than the New Testament God (which of course is ridiculous since God doesn't change), there is this verse:

Lamentations 2:19
(19) "Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street."

This is a call to repent and prayerfully seek God's mercy. That was all that they could do in the face of His judgment. That's all we can do too. The good news for us is that on this side of the cross we are certain that there is grace.

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