This is from Henry Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day “Those who perceive God as a benevolent and gentle grandfather will treat their sin superficially. They will worship halfheartedly. They will live life on their own terms rather than God’s.”
That really is the way we are in this day and age, it’s all about me, I know best, everyone/ everything is here for my convenience, my pleasure. Come on, you know what Blackaby is talking about. We think of God today as an indulgent, enabling, kind of senile, out of it old man. We reject the Old Testament, because “oh my that has to be a different God…” Really? How do you figure? We paint Jesus to be a sort of milquetoast, meek and mild. This is the same guy who said, ““Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34 ESV, Bible Hub) Cleansing the temple, confronting the Pharisees. In the Old Testament, Yahweh directed Israel to destroy the people in Palestine. These people were profoundly evil, sacrificing their babies, temple prostitution worshipping false “god’s” by trying to pacify evil “gods”. Yahweh wanted His people, Israel, to go into a land where they would not be influenced by evil of these people. To give them a chance to be isolated from the pagan evil around them. They didn’t, the Old Testament is all about Israel/us playing around with evil, getting in trouble, being saved by God, rinse, repeat.
God is perfectly just, He does not tolerate sin. Hey I’m as guilty as anyone, justifying sin as a “mistake”, an isolated incident, misjudgment, whatever gratuitous phrase we like to use. I don’t see anywhere that God has suspended the Ten Commandments, yet we all break them without so much as a “how do you do.” Yes we are all sinners and we do offend God, but for those who are in Christ they are forgiven. They do fear God, fear in the sense of respect, awe, treating Him in the manner that we should treat the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of everything. I really think that deserves profound respect, instead of the casual nod we usually give.
“One of the great condemnations of our day may be that we have lost the fear of God. We promote Him as a ‘best friend’ who saves us and ‘lives in our hearts’, but we do not fear Him.” For many of us, our human dads were stern, they could be fearsome. Often they would act angrily and lash out. Hey, dads are human too, I’m one, I know. But come on, our dads wanted what was best for us, they wanted to send mature, responsible, decent people into the world. To do that, yea sometimes their wrath would be manifested (like that little turn of phrase?). We should want to grow closer to God, to His nature. We can’t achieve that, but that’s where we should be moving. Instead we move towards self-idolatry, living in our self-absored adolescence, convinced that it’s all about us and we don’t owe anyone, no less God anything.
The world is a dangerous place, no less spiritually then physically. Frankly spiritually it’s far more dangerous. Physically most of us will be fairly safe and die from some break down in our body. Spiritually? Heck check out television, all the people around us, what government is moving towards compelling us to do, what it already does impose. The world is continually trying to position us to compromise our relationship with God. Too often we go along with it expecting that God is supposed to just give us a wave. That’s not the lesson of the Old Testament, heck ever read Revelation, New Testament?
Blackaby closes by saying “If you find that you have become complacent with God’s commands and have become comfortable in your sin, you are completely isolated from God’s holiness. Take time to meditate upon the awesome holiness of God and allow the Holy Spirit to instill into your life a proper reverence for almighty God.” There can be no question that God loves you, if you are in Christ you are His adopted child. As His child He expects to be treated as the great and awesome God that He is. He wants what is best for you, He is God, He knows what is best for you. If we understand that, why wouldn’t we want God’s way in our lives and put aside our adolescent understanding?