“Thou hatest wickedness.” Psalm 45:7
Does God’s love supplant His righteous anger? These words, “Thou hatest wickedness” were prophetic words spoken about the coming Saviour, Jesus. Could it be true that God, who the Bible declares is the very essence of love, is capable of anger?
The love of God and the righteous anger of God are not competing theology. The Apostle John makes this observation about the character and nature of God and us who know Him:
“for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 Jn 4:7-8)
Does this attribute of love over-ride God’s righteousness and His right to judge the wicked, knowing that God is love? This is what the Scripture declares about God’s righteousness:
“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.” (Psa 7:11-12)
The answer to the question is obvious to the seeker of truth. God’s love for His creation has stayed His righteous anger and judgment. There was a time in the past that God did exercise His righteous judgment. In the generations after the failure in the Garden, we find God’s righteousness over-shadow His love for His creation.
God’s word states:
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (Gen 6:5-7)
Even though God’s anger against sin and sinners alike was to be exercised, His love was still active, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Gen 6:8) Understanding God’s grace is the only way we can align the theology of God’s love and God’s righteous anger.
The grace of God is not a pardon for sinners. God’s grace is what restrains Him from exercising His wrath on the sinner, allowing for the sinner to repent and seek forgiveness through the Gospel of Jesus. We find this truth in the Scripture:
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (Jas 1:14-15)
Just as Adam and Eve died two deaths so every person who is born and draws their first breath is under the sentence of death. God would be righteous in His action to stop the progress of humanity by demanding both physical and spiritual death at the same time. Because God is love, He showed grace to His creation, allowing for repentance and renewal for the sinner who is dead in sins and trespasses.
The question you must ask yourself is; are you presuming on God’s love and think that God’s love for His creation has allowed you to escape His righteous judgment? Take this warning from the Scripture, “despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Rom 2:4)
We find this truth revealed in the word of God:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pe 3:9)
God’s love has not removed the “wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23) but God, in His love and grace, has offered to the sinner a season to repent so they will not perish in their sin and face God’s wrath in the coming judgment.
Are you living in the “stay of execution” of God’s love and grace? If so, be forewarned with these words, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb 9:27) If you are living in the grace of God’s mercy and His love does not lead you to repentance, you will face His righteous wrath in your judgment.
I have good news for you who are living in the shadow of judgment. Call on the name of Jesus as you repent of your sin and you will be saved from the impending wrath of God. God is good and in His love has made a way for you to become not only forgiven but accepted in the company of His people.
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