God is so amazing and wonderful. It often takes a lifetime to learn so many meaningful truths about who God is and even then, we have barley scratched the surface of who He is. One thing I have noticed with this generation and the previous generation is the tendency to only mention God as a God of love and with that so many Christians and non-Christians alike always bring up this: ‘If He is a God of love why is there suffering?’ We as a collective church seem to have left out some much-needed information about God, and that is He is Judge, He is a Devouring Fire and He is a God of Vengeance, but He is also full of mercy for those who come to Him with a heart of repentance.
God of the Old Testament
Throughout the entirety of the Old Testament we see God move in mighty and somewhat terrifying ways against the wicked. He passes judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, wiping them from the face of the earth. He sent a flood to wipe out the wickedness of humanity. He sent his prophets to warn the people of Israel and Judah to turn from their wicked ways and passed judgment on them when they refused. He gave His people victory over the wicked almost entirely wiping them from the face of the earth; He passed judgment, He poured out his vengeance and He poured out His wrath. He let an entire generation pass away before allowing His people to enter the promised land. The thing is God is unchanging and throughout the New Testament He constantly reminds us who He is.
God in the New Testament
The New Testament is a beautiful illustration of God’s love and His unfathomable desire to restore us to perfect relationship with Him. We cannot even begin to conceive how great or how wide the love of God is. However, as we read past the gospels and into the Book of Hebrews, He reminds us of the fullness of who He is. The writer of Hebrews is still to this day unknown and there have been various speculations as to who he was, but in the grand scheme of it all it isn’t relevant.
It is a book that we should all read regularly to remind us of just how amazing God is. Throughout the chapter the writer prompts us into remembering that God is God. The author under God’s inspiration, goes into great depth, reminding us in great detail that God is judge and that He will pass judgement, that God is a devouring fire and that if we willingly continue in sin and don’t come into an attitude of repentance it would be better if we had never come into the truth to begin with. That as a loving Father He disciplines us and that we should count ourselves blessed for His discipline. The author also reminds us that despite being judge over all peoples and a devouring fire – He is our God.
But that doesn’t make sense
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense that God is still these things – Judge, Devouring Fire, A God of Vengeance; they almost don’t seem compatible with what most of the modern church is teaching today. But who are we to put God into any one category or question His very character? Throughout the Bible God is constantly reminding us of who He is; He is reminding us that yes while He is merciful and loving, he is so much more.
The prophet Isaiah puts these things perfectly in Isaiah chapter 55, verses 8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (ESV).
God is so great and understanding, He gets our confusion but at the same time He wants us to fear Him and acknowledge every aspect of His divine nature that He has provided us, because He is so worthy and so Holy and He calls us His children – should a child not want know everything about their father and welcome His correction?
Ashley lives in Kingaroy, Queensland with his wife. It is there that Ashley works as a teacher-aide at the local High School and seeks to further abide in Christ. He spends his free time reading and collecting more books and bibles than he needs.
Ashley Menelaws is in Brisbane Queensland and is married to Miranda. During his free time Ashley can be found writing in various forms or reading an old book.
Ashley Menelaw’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ashley-menelaws.html