Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Romans 15:22a
Christians emphasize the love of God, and His mercy and grace. That the Creator of the Universe could care about every hair on our head and every breath we take is far too awesome to contemplate. Yet faith confirms it is true.
But let’s not forget there is another side of this powerful, Almighty God we serve. The God who commands us to put nothing and no one before Him in our loyalties. The God who banishes the wicked to Hell and turns His back on the stiff-necked people who refuse to acknowledge Him.
He is the same God in both the Old Testament and New Testament. He had compassion on His people and heard their cries, yet also punished them when they turned their back on Him. He told the prophet Hosea He still loved His people even though they prostituted themselves to other idols, yet through Amos told them He had set a plumb line and if they didn’t measure up- watch out! He had compassion enough to feed five thousand, yet withered a fig tree that would not feed Him. He called the sinners who confessed their sins His friends and the religious leaders hypocrites.
Any great parent is severe in their kindness yet never just kind of severe in their rules. They love their kids, but set firm boundaries. Lack of obedience has it’s consequences.
If we are to accept the power of God in our lives, we must accept that He has the power to change them, for good or bad, in response to the level of our obedience. Not to say He is not just and fair. He is more so than we deserve, and way too forgiving as well. None of us are good enough to deserve His favor, yet He provides the way for us to receive it. Our choice.
Do we choose his kindness by accepting Him into our everyday lives, our His severity when we go about our own way?