Before we know the God of Love we can be in any number of places: disbelief in His existence, doubt of that existence, fear and worry that He is real, terror because we know He is real. Then we come to know Him: we meet the God of Love who came down to earth so that we can know Him and know that He loves us. It’s a wonderful place to be in: to know that love, the perfect love that never stops, never gives up, never fails. God is delighted when we love Him in return when we acknowledge that love, accept it and live with it and within it.
I often think our Christian walk is a spiral, a rising circle that goes over the same ground again and again. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it makes sense to me as I find myself back in the same place but yet not quite the same person. With that spiral in mind, I look back at the way I considered God before I truly knew Him. I was afraid, I was afraid of being judged and found wanting, of being condemned and cast out. There’s a truth in that fear. God is God. He’s not a cosy old man who passes out sweets and pats me on the head like a grandfather. He loves me beyond any measure I can use but He is still God. Maturity demands we recognise that. Fuller knowledge of God demands we understand (as much as a mortal can) that God is terrifyingly awesomely greater than we are, that He is righteous and just.
As they stand and play their harps, they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.
Victors: Great and amazing are Your works,
Lord God, the All Powerful.
Right and true are Your ways,
King of all nations.
4 Who will not fear You, Lord?
Who will not glorify Your name?
Because You alone are holy,
all the nations will come
and worship before You,
For Your righteous judgments have been revealed.
The song of the Lamb. The same Lamb who was slain for my sins, for your sins. This is Him. A righteous, just God who will see His will fulfilled, His Word fulfilled.
7 Then one of the four living creatures stepped over to give to the seven messengers seven golden bowls brimming with the wrath of God who lives throughout the ages. 8 The temple was full of the smoke billowing from the magnificent glory of God and from His power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven messengers accomplished their God-ordained end.
I don’t have to fear that wrath, nor the judgement because I have been forgiven and covered with His righteousness. Read that again – He has wrath, He has watched the sins of the ages and oh wow that wrath is going to be terrifying BUT He has given a way for us to avoid suffering that wrath by dying for us. That fills me with awe. Maybe I ought to be posting about gentle Jesus, meek and mild but when I think of Him come as a baby, helpless, lying wrapped in cloth on straw in a feeding trough I am speechless.
HE IS GOD.
He is God with us