Wrath or Discipline?

When it comes to much of the Bible and mostly the Old Testament it looks like God is nothing but this vengeful, angry being.  If one is just reading to read then it is easy to see how they would come up with that conclusion because let’s face it He does a LOT of destroying of the people in the Old Testament.  In Genesis alone He cast His own children out of the garden(Gen 3:22-24), He cursed Cain(Gen 4:11-16), He destroyed the world with a flood(Gen 7), He brings confusion to Babel(Gen 11:5-9),  Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed(Gen 19:24-25),  and throughout it all there is famine always seeming to be battled.  But we were falling apart.  God made us with free will and our free will caused us to go down paths that literally were killing us and turning us into what Satan wanted for the world, NOT God.

(May I also interject here that who needs smut or yucky books or movies??  Just read Genesis!  Seriously have you actually looked at the outline and thought about all that is in there? WOW!!!  is all I can say.  if you are curious check this out: http://www.biblestudystart.com/outlines/genesis.html )    

So, yes, God had to step in and do something.  What people aren’t seeing here is the love He has for us in all of these disasters, illnesses, and disappointments.  They can’t see that we did this to ourselves.  Isaiah 10:12 He says “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty looks in His eyes.”  Does the last part sound familiar?  How much pride do we have in our hearts and how many haughty looks do we give or receive.  I tell you what if I were to “punish” someone every time that they gave me a haughty look (not naming names but some of you know EXACTLY who i’m talking about) then I would look like an angry being as well.  We did this to ourselves and we, in my opinion, deserve God’s punishment and wrath.

Just like a person who won’t see it otherwise we have to sometimes be brought down to be built back up.  When something is falling apart you have to destroy the yuck in it so that you can rebuild for glory.  God’s wrath is not always out of complete hatred.  He’s destroying the yuck to rebuild the good.  He’s punishing the bad to try and turn them good.  He’s being a loving parent who disciplines His child to try and get them back on the path he needs them on.

BUT we also need to go forward a few hundred years and see what God did for us in the New Testament.  He was tired of constantly having to punish and destroy us because obvously we were not getting the hint!!!  So He decided to go another route.  He sent down a third of Himself to die for that sin.  1 John 3:5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

To die for our prideful heart and our haughty looks, and our horrible sinful ways, because He knew that as humans + free will + Satans influence we would not always follow the smartest path/choice.  Sometimes He has to still punish or discipline some of us.  We are hard headed humans that will never change, but the love that He showed us by sending His son…..  some of us actually get the full power and meaning of that so we try our hardest to turn from the temptation of sin.  We also start to realize that the discipline and punishment is out of love because He wants us to follow the path He has laid out for us and if we follow that path then, although there may be struggles, they are easier to get through because we have God lighting the path.

 

Lord, I ask that you come to us and open our eyes.  Help those of us having a hard time seeing your love experience it to the fullest and understand that you are Abba.  You are our Father in Heaven and you will take care of us as any parent would.  Give us your supernatural strength to turn from sin and away from the path we should NOT be following.  May we give you the love and respect that you deserve and then some.  AMEN