Thursday, 21 May 2009

The kindness and sterness of God

This struck me twice this last week: With the prodigal son, the Father feels deep pity for the mess the son gets himself in.

And with Lazarus in John 11, though death is ultimately part of the curse on humanity for its rejection of God, in Jesus we see God deeply troubled, moved and weeping at the events.

In our concern not to compromise on teaching the judgement of God, evangelicals can give the impression that he is somewhat cold to the predicament we get ourselves into because of sin. We struggle to see how anyone can be both angry and pitying, just and compassionate at the same time. But this is our Heavenly Father.

Yes, those who don't believe are under his wrath, handed over to their sin, and facing God's anger on judgment day. But let's not forget that God does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezek 18); that he at the same time cares deeply for those he has made in all they are doing to themselves; that as with with the Prodigal son, this Father cares enough to leave his home in heaven and come to us to bring us home.

And of course, we should emulate him, in our attitude, in our preaching, in our love for the lost too.