Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wrath Against What?
Another image sticks with me from the book "He Loves Me" by Wayne Jacobsen.
He was trying to emphasize that God hates the sin and loves the sinner. He recalls an incident when his family were on summer holidays and staying at a country property. His wife was occupied with something in the kitchen, and his son had gone across the road to play in an open field.
Quickly he heard the son's cries. He saw his wife immediately respond and run to the door. He recalls that the look on her face was absolutely frightening, something terribly angry, something he had never seen before.
At the screen door he could see his little boy's body jerking and swinging madly at the air. The lad had wandered into a bees' nest and was being stung repeatedly. His wife took a couple of swings with her dish towel and swept the child up into her arms and headed for safety. She was stung repeatedly in this rescue. Both mother and child needed medical attention.
For Jacobsen this incident was an excellent example of wrath. The bees were hated in the moment of extremity and not the child. The love of a caring parent required that serious business be done, and that it be done quickly. In the case of God's wrath a day will come, and it is even now at the door, when God will resolutely, angrily and effectively eradicate the threat of sin and its agents. At that point everything possible will have been done to save the children of his love.
For the "chidren of disobedience" it will be another story:
5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.