We live in an age where popular Christianity has emphasized the grace, love, forgiveness, and “fun” aspects of God. Hey, why not? God is gracious, loving, forgiving, and “fun.” Yet, we need to be careful about painting a caricature of God and reducing Him to a “right jolly old elf.” God is the almighty creator of the universe. He is Holy and hates sin. He punishes evil.
If you track through the pages of church history you will notice the pendulum swing regarding the emphasis that the church places on God’s love vs. God’s justice. The current “kinder, gentler” God image is a reactionary movement to the rigid, hypocritical, and condemning spirit of fundamentalism at the turn of the 20th century. Fundamentalism was a reactionary movement to the rationalistic liberalism of the 19th century that reduced the gospel to nothing more than being loving through social action.
As we read through the entire Bible it will serve us well to explore and keep in balance both sides of God’s nature. Today we will look at the side of God that is probably more uncomfortable for most of us. Nobody likes to be “guilted” into doing good. Most of us have been manipulated too many times by overbearing, hypocritical, judgers. While it is a sad reality that this type of brow-beating does take place, that does not excuse us from the truth of scripture. Our focus today is the phrase in v. 23, “you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Moses warns the people to not trifle with God and say they are going to do one thing and then do another. God is not some peasant that can be used for one’s own gain and then be discarded. While we would probably never admit openly that that we think we can “pull one over on God” or that we can sneak a little sin in here and there and God won’t notice, many times our actual behavior demonstrates that this is, indeed, what we believe. We think we can just skirt along the edges of God’s will and perfect standard and pretend that He does not notice the selfish motives behind our quasi-spiritual activity. Don’t be fooled. God knows your motives better than you do.
Is it time to come clean and let God look into the deepest, darkest corners of your life and get those nasty little cobwebs out?
Spend some time meditating on the following verses and ask God to shine the light of truth and justice into your soul today.
1 Corinthians 4:5