Steve Hill / 10 FEB 2015 –
Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. – Isaiah 9:17
Though many in this day pretend that God is simply loving and forgiving, men of old grasped the gravity of the truth about God’s wrath. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) possessed an unparalleled ability to convey this truth to his listeners:
The wrath of God is like great waters that are damned for the present. They increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given. The higher the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course when it is let loose. If God should only withdraw His hand from the flood-gate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable fury. They would come upon you with omnipotent power. Even if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is—even ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest devil in hell—it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.
With such a clear understanding of God’s wrath, His mercy becomes all the more precious. His wrath is as real toward the disobedient and stubborn as is His mercy toward the humble and contrite. If only we were more mindful of His wrath than His forgiveness, we might not need to make such frequent use of His forgiving nature.
~ Genesis 6; Matthew 6; Ezra 6; Acts 6
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