OURS IS A LOVING FATHER AND A VENGEFUL GOD

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OURS IS A LOVING FATHER AND A VENGEFUL GOD

There are many facets to our personalities. In fact, when we take personality tests, there are requisite conditions under which the tests must be taken, else their results will not be accurate. For example, the test results of the head of a multinational will differ if he took the test in the office, during a board meeting, and if he took the test at home, with his children. And this is because we are complex creatures.

Now what about God? If we have multiple facets to our personalities, our Father surely must have multiple facets to His personality. If we are complex, we surely cannot even begin to grasp the complexity of our Father. After all,

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

But there are two aspects of His personality that seem to be at odds with each other; the loving Father and the vengeful God. And many believers get troubled when they encounter preaching that says that God is one way or the other; because in truth, God is both. So let us look at these facets of our Father and see just what they mean for us.

“For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,” Exodus 20:5

Is God vengeful? Does He get angry? Do things upset Him? Oh, you better believe it. Think about how He had no qualms slaying the Egyptians or destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, or any other peoples that tried to come against His own. Our God does get upset. He does get angry and He does wipe peoples out.

Yet, even in His anger, He has mercy and compassion. Though He was upset with Sodom and Gomorrah, He was willing to listen to Abraham intercede for the cities.

“And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?”” Genesis 18:23-24

“So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”” Genesis 18:26

“Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?”
So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.”
And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”
And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”” Genesis 18:28-32

But of course we know that He found none, and the city was destroyed. And our Father did the same thing for Nineveh, although the result was rather different.

“Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.” Jonah 3:10

So even though our Father was angry, He was still merciful. But how can this be? Surely mercy and anger keep no company. Ah, but beloved, that is the difference between us and our Father. You see, when we get angry, we are angry because we want injustice to stop. For example, if you see your child being bullied, you want the bullying to stop. Our Father wants the same thing. But here is where the similarity ends. For us, anger consumes us and clouds our judgement. When we become angry, it suddenly is not enough that the injustice stops, we want repatriation, we want to exact back on them what they did to us, we want, in essence, to bully back. And that is because, this old fellow that we know so well,

“sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you,” Genesis 4:7 [AMP]

Has just managed to enter your psyche and has taken over you, just like it did Cain.

But our Father is nothing like that. He is just, even when He is angry. He deals fairly, even when He is upset. And He only ever wants to show mercy, as much as He can, whenever we allow Him to. So what does that mean for us?

This means that when the world around us does this,

“They utter speech, and speak insolent things;
All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
They break in pieces Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger,
And murder the fatherless.
Yet they say, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob understand.”” Psalm 94:4-7

This is how you will be under His protection; just because He is a faithful and loving Father.

“Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord,
And teach out of Your law,
That You may give him rest from the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not cast off His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
But judgment will return to righteousness,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.” Psalm 94:12-15

Not only will you be protected, you will be rested. How amazing is that? Our Father is telling you to relax, because He’s got this. Rest from your days of adversity. Watch them pass by like a bad movie, and He will make sure that the pit is dug for the wicked. Did you notice that? How long will your rest last? How long have you to rest? That’s right, until the pit is dug for the wicked. And after that? There’s nothing else to take your rest away from you, is there?

Also, if you are resting, who is digging the pit? That’s right, our Father is. He is doing all the work, and to you He says, relax, He’s got this. For He will not cast off His people, as we who put our trust in Him are not only His people, for remember

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

We are His children. How much more then will our Father protect you now? In fact, even if you so much as utter,

“…“My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19

Beloved, yes, your troubles are real. Yes, the bills you have to pay are real. Yes, the bad report from the doctor is real. Yes, the trials and persecution that you are facing is real. But have you ever wondered what is the thing that really hurts you? Bills don’t hurt you. The thought of having the bill unpaid hurts you. Unkind words and unfounded accusations don’t hurt you. The embarrassment you allow yourself to feel when those words are leveled against you, hurts you.

You know, there is such an adjective as ‘thick-skinned’. Have you met people like that? No matter what happens to them or is said about them, they just brush it off like water off a duck’s back. Why is that? Because they don’t let their problems turn into anxieties. There is a reason why there are panic attacks and anxiety attacks but no bill attacks. Troubles can only hurt you when you allow them to make you anxious. Our Father knows this and that is why even though He digs pits for your adversaries, He still addresses the ‘multitude of anxieties’ that are within you. And He comforts your soul till you are able to delight in Him. No wonder then, Jesus said,

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:31-34

Indeed, sufficient for the day is its own trouble and our Father wants you to rest from all your anxieties.

So because ours is a loving Father, ours is also a vengeful God, meeting out His wrath on all who come against us, His precious children. But what happens if you are on the other side of the fence right now? What happens if you have been the very one who has been persecuting His own? Well my friend, the million dollar question is, do you want to remain that way, or do you want to change? If you want to remain that way, then, saying this as respectfully as I can, I’ll see you in hell, because there is no way you are going to escape the wrath of our Father if you continue to come against His children. But if you want to stop, if you sincerely see reason to stop, then I have news for you. Remember what Paul was doing before he followed Christ? When he was still Saul?

“But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” Acts 8:3 [ESV]

And what did Jesus do?

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”” Acts 9:3-4

That’s right, Jesus reached out to Him. In the same way that our Father would spare Sodom and Gomorrah if they would repent, in the same way that our Father spared Nineveh because they repented; if you would make a sincere change and turn to Him, His love and protection is available for you right now. Remember, my friend,

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

Jesus did not come to condemn you, in fact, the very fact that you are reading this shows that He is reaching out to you, extending His hand of love to you. His heart beats with compassion for you, for our Father has said,

““Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”” Ezekiel 18:23

“‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.’” Ezekiel 33:11

So if you would turn and receive His mercy, then say this to Him.

“Jesus, thank You for loving me so much that even though I was once Your adversary, You delight not in my destruction, but that I should turn from my ways and live. Jesus, this is probably something I can never understand, why You would have such mercy for me, but I am grateful for Your mercy nonetheless. Jesus, thank You for suffering on the cross for me, that by Your shed blood, I may receive full and complete remission of all my sins; that by Your death, I may die to sin and have the strength to turn away from my old ways; that by Your rising, I rise into a new life in You. I receive all that You have done for me and embrace the new life that You have given me. Guide me, henceforth, to lead the life You have purposed that I live. Amen.”

Beloved child of God, ours is a loving Father AND a vengeful God. And because we, His children, are on the right side of His love, we can take comfort in the fact that His love and protection will always be with us, because He is for us. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand God. All that matters is that you know that He loves you.

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