The Justice and Grace of God
Have you seen this video?
My initial reaction was to give thanks to God that he isn’t a Father like that. The only problem is that I watched this video the same day that I was reading Leviticus 10:1-3:
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.
That’s not a safe God. God makes Tommy Jordan, the father in the video, look a little laid back.
In his book Hell Is Real (But I Hate to Admit It)
, Brian Jones writes:
Contrary to what you might have heard when you crossed the line of faith, you weren’t saved from a mediocre version of your life the day you came to Christ. You weren’t baptized to escape a life of boredom. You weren’t reconciled with the Creator so you could live life with meaning and purpose, free from a flabby waistline and dingy yellow teeth. Instead, Jesus rescued you from falling into the hands of Someone larger than your mind can conceive, stronger than the combined strength of a trillion nuclear explosions; a holy God destined to unleash the complete, unrestrained force of His wrath on you for offending His holy nature. That’s what you were saved from.
Or, as Timothy J. Stoner writes in The God Who Smokes
, God “is as hypnotically compelling as a surging forest fire and ten times as dangerous. He is out of control – ours, not his.”
Right from the beginning, God reveals himself as a God who is both gracious and just. Any understanding of God that emphasizes only grace or only justice is deficient.
God is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.”
But God “will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:6-7).
Tim Keller says, “It is only because of the doctrine of judgment and hell that Jesus’ proclamation of grace and love are so brilliant and astounding.”
A video of a father putting bullets into his daughter’s laptop has made me grateful again for God’s justice and grace, and amazed again that I didn’t get what I really deserved.