Wednesday, October 10, 2012
When God's Nostrils Enlarge!
The Noah-Webster dictionary defines God's wrath as "the just punishment of an offense or crime (Rom. 13:4). God's wrath in Scripture, is His holy and just indignation against sin (Rom. 1:18)."
The wrath of God is His hatred for sin, and He hates sin because He loves us (John 3:16). God's love is hatred for unrighteousness because He knows that the moment we reject Him, we have rejected life; and He does not want that (2 Pet. 3:9). He hates ungodliness because He cannot save us by our ungodliness.
The term "ungodliness" could mean two things. Firstly, it means "to be unlike God" for instance as used in Rom. 4:5). In this sense, it connotes that all sinners are ungodly in that they are sinners while God is righteous and holy. This first definition is all-inclusive (Rom. 3:10). There is none that does good, no, not one. Secondly, ungodliness could refer to the deliberate, wilful disregard of God god His commands, and neglect of His worship. This God hates vehemently. It is this kind of ungodliness that Paul refers to in Romans 1:18. Well, for all usage of God's wrath in this article, refer to the second connotation. Nevertheless, who doesn't qualify for the second definition? Will she stand up and say no, not me! Therefore, think not that this is a far-removed idea, it is right at your door.
The rebuke of God's wrath is richly deserved. His wrath is not the same as that of man. We human beings have a difficulty separating sin from the sinner. When someone does something bad, we look down on the individual. But God makes a distinction between sin and the sinner. He loves the sinner but hates the sin, and He hates coz He loves the sinner. We humans when we hate sin, we sometimes hate sinners too.
Another point of departure between us and God is that God's wrath is reasonably dreaded. The psalmist cries in chapter 38:1, "O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure." Spurgeon, commenting on this cry says: "Rebuked I must be, for I am an erring child and thou a careful Father, but throw not too much anger into the tones of thy voice; deal gently although I have sinned grievously. The anger of others I can bear, but not thine. As thy love is most sweet to my heart, so thy displeasure is most cutting to my conscience. Chasten me if thou will, it's a Father's prerogative, and to endure it obediently is a child's duty; O turn not the rod into a sword, smite not so as to kill. True, my sins might well inflame thee, but let thy mercy and thy longsuffering quench the glowing coals of wrath. O let me not be treated as an enemy or deal t with as a rebel. Bring to remembrance thy covenant, thy fatherhood, and my feebleness, and spare the servant."
I believe that it behooves us to reflect on this matter. "For it is fearful thing to fall in the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). The only "wrath exit" that God has provided us is that we turn to Him and accept His offer of salvation full and free (Heb. 12:25).
When God's nostrils enlarge!!