Tuesday, November 30, 2010

seeing mercy and love in the midst of God's wrath

I've got so many questions about this particular Psalm, but seeing as it's 10:00pm and I need to get some sleep for my exam tomorrow, I'll have to save those for later. They mostly revolve around my lack of understanding of the original text. I have to wonder, did the Bible in the original text really have the meaning and implications that is shown in English translations? You probably have no idea what I'm talking about, but you can ask me about that later. Hopefully the rest of this blog is makes more sense..

Brief summary: Psalm 2 talks of kings of the earth who gather together to reject God, and God's subsequent response.

The tidbit from this Psalm that caught my eye is this: "Then he will speak to them in his wrath..." (v.5)

The question to ask is, why would God speak in His wrath rather than destroy or obliterate?

I see it as an indication of God's patience and mercy. If He is perfect, good, always right and just, not to mention omnipotent, then the natural result I would expect is that God would immediately punish and destroy those who reject Him.

But He is all loving and merciful too. How am I any different from those kings? On those days that I don't want to spend time with God, those days that I don't acknowledge His Presence in my life, I am choosing to reject God as my King. Yet He wants what is best for me, which I believe is to love and know God Himself. So instead of destroying me immediately for the sin that is in me, He waits for me to choose Him each day.

The thing is, sometimes His love for me, His desire to show me what's best for me, comes in a form that doesn't make sense to me, or in ways that I think show God's anger rather than His love. The second part of verse 5 says, "... and terrify them in his fury..." That is a blatant yet truthful statement of God works. I've grown up believing that if my life was all good and dandy, God was showing me loved me, and that He didn't if I was unhappy with anything in my life. But that is a lie that Satan will use to cause doubt in those times when I'm struggling. But the verse seems to say that God speaks in His wrath to terrify us back to Him. Sounds like an oxymoron I know, but I see it as God shouting to get my attention, to remind me of what's truth, and to bring me back to what's best.

Listening to someone talking on the radio this morning, I was reminded of it again, that God's perfect and loving will for me may not come in ways that I like. This person on the radio had called to share about how someone in her family had been sick for years. Still waiting for a miracle, she said that she still will trust in God's faithfulness, even if she doesn't understand the form in which God's faithfulness comes.

That's an immense kind of faith that I'd like to have. That I will trust God's unconditional love and faithfulness to me, even if by choosing to follow Him, He leads my life down roads I may not like.

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