Since June, this blog series has told how God rescues people from their messes. Yes, He is merciful. He doesn’t want to judge people (according to Isaiah), but would rather restore us to health and happiness. However, sometimes he must judge without mercy.
“See, the day of the Lord is coming—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars…will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins.” Isaiah 13, 9-11. In Isaiah 13-24, he goes on to tell of God’s many judgments against his enemies.
I don’t like to read about judgment, even for God’s enemies. But II Timothy 3:16 says “The whole Bible[a] was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right.“
The first obvious truth I learned when searching deeper about judgment is that God is against wickedness. “No duh!” you might think. “Of course he is.” But what is the deeper implication of this? He is not only against the wickedness around us but also against the wickedness (sin) within us. This must be confessed and forgiven for us to be reconciled with God. Quite often, the troubles God allows us to go through help to purify us.’
Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but be of good cheer–I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
The second truth apparent in these chapters is that God does not enjoy punishing people, even if they are wicked. He will stop the wickedness when necessary, yet his judgment is merciful, meant to bring them to repentance.
We have all, at one time or another, failed the exam in trusting God and need tutoring. Yet, hopefully, we can be convinced and comforted by the truth that God’s purpose in judging and disciplining us is to rescue us from Satan’s traps and draw us into God’s heart.
— Judith Vander Wege
Here’s a song about Trust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXMPNXXnCls
And a sermon about confession and forgiveness: