Reading about all the slaughter at Ai in Joshua 8 is hard for me to enjoy. I feel I should rejoice because “the good guys won” but I don’t get excited picturing carved up corpses of women and children with their blood draining into the streets. Theologically, I know the right answers for why this was necessary but in the sterile, nice world where I live such images are abhorrent.
It does, however, cause me to reevaluate my image of God. Jesus was a perfect reflection of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus and the Father are in perfect sync. In other words, Jesus was in on this slaughter as much as the Father was. There is no contradiction between the two.
Yet, today we often paint Jesus with pastels, fluffy soft, rather impotent and innocuous. Did God finally become more civilized? Maybe He just got tired of all that blood, gore and judgment stuff. Listening to many of His human representatives today you get that impression. “Yes, sometimes we are naughty but He is a nice God so don’t sweat it.”
To be honest, I wish that were true. But God’s Word warns that blood, gore and judgment is still part of His character. His judgment is coming again and blood will flow freely (Revelation 14:20). And rather than being horrified, all heaven that witnesses these gruesome scenes will shout “true and just are his judgments” (Revelation 19:2).
I am confident if I could see sin from His perspective, taste the full vileness of evil and accurately comprehend His purity and holiness versus my filthy rags I too would say “true and just are your judgments”. I surely would live in a continual state of awe of His love, hyper-zealousness for living righteously before Him and be aggressively passionate about rescuing those now earning His wrath.
“Help me see as You see, Lord.”
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!
Why not receive these devotions automatically in your inbox?
Sign up in the upper right hand corner of this page.