I've never fully understood the concept of God's wrath. How can someone who IS love possible call wrath down upon us? And I know that "love the sinner, hate the sin" is a phrase we live by, but why?? A lot of us think that we serve a "New Testament God" who doesn't have wrath as he did in the Old testament, for Sodom and Gomorrah, or when he chose to preserve an ark of a few and flood out the rest. But then, how do we explain something as is written in Romans 1? Or Colossians 3:1-6?"Because of these, the wrath of God is coming."
We gloss over the part where there is punishment and accountability for our actions because we simply believe that our God is loving and merciful and will forgive us no matter what. Even those who do not claim Jesus' blood as atonement feel that God will be merciful. To me, it's always seemed confusing and contradictory that such love and wrath could coexist.
The way it was phrased by the pastor this morning was this: He spoke of his teenage daughter who was out driving and someone was harassing her and terrorizing her on the road. As a father, he wanted nothing more than to not only keep his child out of harm's way, but to chase after this road terrorist and hunt. him. down.
Think of a family member whom you love more than life itself. I think of the children at Amani and those children I've nannied for in the states as the closest thing I have to my own kids... if I could keep them from every evil in the world, I would try my best. Not only that, but because I love them SO MUCH, I actually despise anyone that would want to do them harm (any protective mama bears out there? papa bears?).
It's not that God is love AND wrath in one, it's BECAUSE of His extreme love for his children, his creation, that he pours out his wrath on what comes against us: sin, decay, the death that sometimes we embrace daily as a mere part of society. Call me stupid, but I've never fully made this connection in my brain.
How much pain, then, does it cause our Father when we embrace the pollutants of this world warned about in Romans 1?
I can't fathom that his answer for this was put out in love, instead of wrath, when he sent his son to earth to be a sacrificial Lamb. An example of purity amidst the pollution, who willingly chose his father's will for his life... (I also wonder that Jesus must've been so certain of God's voice in this matter... how can we purify ourselves so that we too might hear God's voice so clearly when it comes to his will for our lives?) And this sacrifice of love was so that we might see, and fully turn from sin, choosing to let Jesus' blood be the path to goodness in our Father's eyes?
Food for thought on this Sunday.