by Peter Smith on Wednesday, 19th of October 2016
Working through Joshua we have been confronted with the judgement on the Canaanites.
Many like the love aspect of God, but find it very hard to believe in a God of judgement. How could a God of love be a God of justice? Understanding God’s love and justice is not easy.
We like to think that a God of love will not take too strong a line with us. When we or our loved ones do wrong we hope that God will accept all of us. If we or our loved ones are indifferent to him or even ‘bad’ we’d like to think that he forgives. People say to the preacher, “No too much concentration on judgement in the Sunday sermons. It will frighten people away”. Someone else says, “Please don’t preach on judgment because it fills my head with unhealthy fears and feelings of guilt. Preach love not judgement.”
The heart of the Christian faith is the cross. It is in the cross of Christ that we see most perfectly the character of God. He is a God of love, and he is a perfectly loving judge. At the cross, God’s amazing love and his exacting justice come together and show us his character. The death of Christ was the supreme penalty for all sins – mine and yours. However, it was love that took Christ to the cross. In love he allowed himself to be nailed there - the love that pays all our debts to God. This is God’s judgement and love in the one amazing act.
God is not soppy about sin. He calls it for what it is - evil and wrong, and then exacts his justice at the cross. By meeting all the penalties for sin himself he opens for us a doorway into genuine relationship with him.
Look to the cross and ponder both the love and the justice of God.
In fellowship, Pete