Lenten Reflection 3-5-22

Lenten Reflection Day 4 - by Kim Wu

Ezekiel 33:10-11 “Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel.”

The key to the heart transformation we seek is to understand the depth and magnitude of God’s love.  But the question, “How can a God of love also be a God of wrath?” is a stumbling block for many.  We love the idea of a God of love, but we’re not so sure about a God of wrath.

The truth is that God’s love and God’s wrath go together perfectly within Him.

God’s wrath is not like our anger; God doesn’t lose his temper.  A good definition of God’s wrath is settled opposition to evil and injustice.  So when God sees evil and injustice in the world and their effects on His creation, He feels wrath.  If He were indifferent to the pain and suffering of the world, then He wouldn’t be a God of love at all.

In the Ezekiel passage above, we see God almost pleading with Israel to turn from their ways, as an expression of His love.  Timothy Keller, in a sermon he preached on the love of God, said, “It is never loving to let a perpetrator sin.”

God gives us absolutely everything, and in return He tells us to serve Him.  Our response to him is usually anger, because we want to be in control of our own lives.  We think we can plan and manage our way through this life.  We want to be our own master.  God’s response to our unrighteous anger is his righteous anger.  His wrath.

But because of God’s love for us, his wrath is absorbed by Christ on the cross.  The cross shows us that God can love us and be completely just at the same time.

Lord Jesus, through whom we have been made righteous and have peace with God, bring joy to your servants, for we have put our trust in you.  You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.  Teach us your ways, that we may rely on your faithfulness.  Give us an undivided heart, that we may fear your name.  Amen. (Psalm 86)

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