• 72°

FAITH: God can be tough?

Karen Stevens

It still amazes me when I hear Christians talk about God’s love like they can do anything and get away with it.  That God will just forgive them because He is a loving God, and He is a loving God, but He is also a Judge, a Father, and a Ruler.

I was listening to a TV Preacher that I like, this morning.  She made the comment that God is not capable of doing anything accept good, and I agree with that statement up to a point.

God has to be a Judge first and foremost.  God would not be the God of justice if He let wrongs slide by undealt with, just like a parent would be derelict if they let their children get away with everything.  Them giving a timeout or even a spanking without losing their temper is a weak equivalent to God’s perfect, unmistakable, error-free wrath.

But none the less – it shows this is why God shows wrath, to punish wrong and evil.

Nah 1:3 states “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.”

And in Jeremiah 30:11 – “I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

God does allow Satan to carry out Satan’s temptations, evil plans, etc. on us.  A great example – Job.

Satan could not do anything to Job that God did not allow.  So, Satan did the bad stuff, but God still allowed it.  Throughout the entire Old Testament, it talks about how God would get angry at the Israelites.  God hardened Pharaohs heart in order for Moses to show Pharaoh, Gods power.

The Bible literally says “But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.”  (Exodus 9:12).

I know I have written on this subject several times, but I would hate for someone to go to hell because they think it is ok to keep sinning.  First, in an indirect sense, God gave them over simply by withdrawing His restraining and protective hand; allowing the consequences of sin.  Paradidomi (gave … over) is an intense verb.

In the New Testament it is used of giving one’s body to be burned.   Frequently, due to sin, rebellion, and the other factors, God simply withdraws His protective hand and allows sin, Satan, and chaos to have their way.  When humans persist in sin despite God’s frequent attempts to call them toward obedience, and to warn them of what will happen if they continue down the path they are on, God simply withdraws His hand of protection.

Matthew 23:37 – In this text, Jesus says that God has sent numerous prophets to Jerusalem to call them back to obedience, but rather than listen – they continue to stone the prophets that are sent.  (Really sad for those Prophets!)  Jesus says that God has wanted to gather them under His wing for protection, but they were not willing.

Matthew 21 states “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father, who is in heaven.”

We must want to play by God’s rules in order to reap the benefits of God’s love and protection.

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

And if you are wondering what the rules are, check out Exodus 20:3-17.

Karen Y. Stevens is Executive Director at Meals on Wheels