Is it terrifying to be in the hands of God?

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Relationship w/ Jesus

I was struck with this question and thought today as I was reading my Bible.  On my reading plan I am currently reading from Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, and Acts.  I read Deuteronomy 28:15-68 and was struck with the absolute power and holiness of God.  In these verses God declares to Israel the curses they will face for disobedience to Him and if they turn from His Laws.  It is a truly gut checking experience to read these passages and realize how terrifying it can be to make God angry!  Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  The author of Hebrews says this in response to those who continue in sin because for them there is nothing left to face except for judgement.

This is not the most comforting message and is not always the most popular.  We don’t like to think of God as having wrath and being angry.  Thats what are parents are supposed to do when we come home after curfew on a school night, but not God.  Many times we think that God is all love and wouldn’t ever hurt a fly!  At least that is the way that we often live and act even if our words express something different.  However, the Bible is very clear that God’s wrath will be poured out on those who disobey him and live in sin.  Sin can not be in His prescence and because He is just, and His justice is true justice, there must be punishment for sin.  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God when you are facing His wrath.

This puts us in a bit of a predicament.  Now we stand before God facing wrath and destruction and there is nothing we can do to escape it.  This is where our need for Jesus comes into play.  You see there is nothing that we can do, no works of compassion, no amount of money we can give, nothing!  But God sent Jesus, His Son, to face death for your sin so that by faith in Him you can be forgiven and now find comfort in the hands of God.  You see for those in sin and not trusting in Jesus it is truly terrifying to face God, but for those who are trusting in Jesus the Bible says, “God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba (Aramaic for Father), Father” (Galatians 4:6).

My Bible reading today didn’t stop in Deuteronomy where you clearly see the wrath of God to be poured out on sin and disobedience, but I read Acts 8:26-40, which is the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch.  I will not recount the whole story here but encourage you to read it.  As a result of this passage I read Isaiah 52 & 53 because Philip shares the news of Jesus with the Eunuch from this passage of Scripture.  As I read Isaiah it was impressed upon my heart what Jesus went through and the wrath that He faced on my behalf, so that my sin before God would be forgiven.  Here are a few excerpts that describe what Jesus went through for you and I:

Isaiah 52:14 – “His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.”
53:3-5 – “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considerd him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our trangressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
53:6b – “and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
53:8b – “For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.”
53:10 – “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer.”
53:12b – “For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Jesus faced the wrath of God for us and he took upon himself our punishment.  This is why we need him, and here at the cross we see the great love, grace, and mercy of God poured out on us through Jesus.  “For God so loved the world that He gave, His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  By placing our faith in Jesus our sins are forgiven and “we are new creations, the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

*Are you still facing God’s wrath because you have never known his love by placing your faith in Jesus?

*If you are a follower of Jesus do you still maintain a reverence for God and obey his commands?  The Bible warns us about disobedience and declares that God’s name is “glorious and awesome” (Deuteronomy 28:58), and as a result we “stand in awe of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:7b).

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