So now what? Are God’s love and wrath equal? How can this be? This cannot be. I cannot understand how it could. If God’s love and wrath were equal, then there would be Heaven, as a place of God’s love, and Hell a place of God’s wrath, and we would go there exactly according to the law. Jesus is fulfillment of the law. Yes…in that his death fulfilled the requirement by the law for atonement. But Jesus’ death was an act of love above and beyond the law…it fulfilled the law, but the law could have been fulfilled by all of us dying and going to Hell. It fulfilled the law, because the law must be fulfilled, because God is just. But God is loving. God is love. And God chose to fulfill the law in a way that offered us mercy. What has mercy to do with Justice. Justice….we want black and white…we want right and wrong. Justice. What is mercy to justice. Shakespeare? Mercy seasons justice. Is this so? Mercy is separate from justice, but it makes justice so much better than it could be on its own. God is merciful. God is compassionate. Forgiveness. If love and wrath are equal, then why not love us when we are good and punish us when we are bad? Why forgive is? God is forgiving. If love and wrath are equal, then why do punishments go to the third and fourth generation, but blessings to the thousandth? Maybe love and wrath are in equal parts, but love is so much stronger that although it is proportionate in size, its effects are so much greater. Am I so bold as to divide God into parts? And can I conclude that someone older; someone wiser could be wrong? Can I just say, “no, God is more loving than he is wrathful.” Not to say that he has no wrath. But he has loved us so much. He hasn’t even given us a fraction of the wrath we deserve, and yet he has loved us so much more than we deserve. Is it wrong to not yet know? To not yet understand? Is it better to believe something that’s wrong or to say that I do not yet know what I believe?
1 John 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.