God’s other side
My dad was a wonderful man. There were many things he could do well and one of those was to give use a hiding. When we did something wrong, we immediately ran to our mom, because you could hardly feel it when she did it. And fortunately, my dad did not give us another hiding if she had already done it.
We children knew exactly how far we could go. Yes, my dad permitted many things other parents would probably not do, but when we eventually did cross the line, we also knew what would happen. Then we took our hidings meekly and with no protest. The tears poured, yes, and we felt quite sorry for ourselves, but everything was cleared up and we were left to play between the lines again.
In a way, God works a little bit differently. All the time, God looks for ways to not punish us. That is why Jesus bore our punishment on the cross. We are naughty and deserve a hiding. But it is Jesus who was punished and that punishment was to die for our sins. It’s like when I stole my dad’s car and crashed it and my brother said it was him that crashed the car and then he got six of the best.
That is the picture that I have of God. A loving Father who covers for his children all the time.
But there is another side of God that we do not talk about so much. A side of God where He has had enough of mankind. Where man has gone too far and God draws a line in the sand and says: Now you’ve gone too far and there where you’ve gone, you have to take the consequences.
Look at what verse 6 says: It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger.
I’m a visual person and I continuously make pictures in my head of what words actually mean. The picture of these words is not very nice and I quickly close the book in my head.
We all know what “this kind of thing” is that is referred to here, because this is the third time that we look at this piece of scripture. But let’s read it again, because some of us have to hear a few times before we actually listen: 5And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God.
As I’m writing, an e-mail from Jay (not his real name) lands in my inbox:
Hope you are well. It’s sad for me to send you this mail, but it will probably be the last mail from me for now. The court found me guilty on Wednesday for corruption and I will be sentenced in two weeks’ time.
I don’t know exactly what Jay had done. Maybe he simply could not get enough of something. It hurts to see how his life is being destroyed by the punishment.
God forgives again and again, but sometimes, if we don’t want to listen, then…
When do you think you end up on the wrong side of God?
Are you playing on that side?
What must you do not to end up there?
Father, I don’t want to disappoint you by continuing doing things that You really don’t like. Thank you for the guidelines in your Word that helps me to know how You want me to live. Amen.