As we were studying the story of Abraham the other day, God's love for mankind was soooooo evident. Even in his justice. To most people, I think the justice of God strikes fear, which it should, to a point. But really, if you think about it, justice is such a good thing!
We were reading in Genesis about the promise from God to Abraham that He will make a great nation out of Abraham's descendants, and then where God went on to visit Sodom and Gomorrah and, taking Lot and his family out to safety, destroyed the evil cities. On so many levels, this story is just amazing.
First, God goes and gives mankind a nation through which He will give us a Savior as well as a nation that will uphold God's right-rulings. Then, despite the fact that having to kill so many people must break his heart, He destroys those who are spreading corruption and evil. Yes, yes, this sounds so hardhearted...like a ruling king who just obliterates all of those who can't follow his rules. But, our Creator, the one who loves us unconditionally and actually did give His own life for us, this is the King that we're talking about. Would a King like that really rule in such a harsh and cruel way? No.
How can such justice be loving? All it takes is a quick look around us to see how. When we watch the evening news, it is plastered with stories of murder, thefts, so many forms of death and destruction. How are these horrendeous acts to be stopped? All of these are what happen to us when we are left to our own devices, when we're given over to do what we think is right in our own eyes. Only when we follow God's morality can we be saved from destroying ourselves. I do not believe for one second that our Heavenly Father takes even the smallest bit of joy in destroying evildoers, but He must. He must to protect those who are trying to get along in this life, trying to do righteousness, as well as those who are still not ready to turn from their evil doing, but they are not completely hard of heart yet either. He must take action to stop the spread of such corruption. Those who refuse to turn from their sins (disobeying the rules our Creator made for us so that we can all get along) can't simply be left to destroy all others. What a sad situation we've placed ourselves in! There must be a line drawn in the sand so that when we cross it, we will know we've done wrong and either learn our lesson or suffer the consequences. Without these lines of right and wrong, the world will have gone completely mad and not one of us could sleep a wink at night for fear of what might happen. So thank the Lord for His righteous judgments!
Though they sometimes seem harsh and cruel, it is this same righteousness that saves us from ourselves. Then to top it all off, God gives us a glimmer of hope! No, not just a glimmer, even...a bright, shining light of hope! We are able to look at His sacrifice and see that He's willing to walk in this weary world alongside us. And He's willing to tell those who love Him and those who choose to adopt His morals to suffer too, for the sake of those who haven't discovered this hope. He leads a whole NATION into right-doing to bless ALL the nations, no matter how high the cost! It's like network marketing at it's finest!
So, while we plug along in this weary, depressing world, we have hope...real hope! And even though it's tough, it would be far tougher if we were completely left to our own devices. Instead of living in constant fear, we do have good in this world because there are those who do His will (even when they don't always realize it). So let us not fear, because our wise God has led us into this battle and He created the victorious outcome...our suffering is just for a time because He is righteous and because He is just.
"Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to him whom you obey; whether it is of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness. " --Romans 6:16
"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers. But the Lord's face is against those who do evil. And who is the one who will harm you if you become imitators of the good? But if you also suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. And do not fear their fear, nor be troubled, but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts," --1 Peter 3:12-15