Non-Departing Love

isaiah-54How does Yahweh express His love for Israel? He says it in majestic words. He says that the mountains may depart. The hills may be removed. But His steadfast love shall not depart from Israel. His covenant of peace shall not be removed from her (Isa. 54:10).

Again, we see Hebrew parallelism in v. 10.

A     For the mountains may depart

A1   and the hills be removed,

B     but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,

B1   and my covenant of peace shall not be removed

A1 repeats A. B1 repeats B. We see that the will of God works with the wrath of God. In v. 8, God was angry at Israel for a moment. But in everlasting love, God responds with compassion.

Why are you angry? A driver cut you on the road. You heard someone talk bad about you. Somebody stole your money. You get angry. You react in anger against something that provokes you.

Israel offends God by worshiping images of other gods. God responds with wrath and judgment. But God’s anger is only a moment. In love, He sets aside His wrath.

We can say then, that the wrath of God is not blind, uncontrollable rage. Instead, the wrath of God is a function of God’s holiness. It is the response of God’s holiness. Because God is holy, he is angry at the sin and the sinner.

The love of God, however, is the very nature of God. The Bible says that God is love. But the Bible never says that God is wrath. Love is an attribute of God; a character of God. But wrath is a response to sin by God’s holy character.

The wrath of God and the love of God can be directed at the same time to the same object—Israel. Where do you see the love of God and the wrath of God at the same time to the same person? In the OT, look at Israel. In the NT, look at the cross. At the cross, God showed his love for the world, and his wrath against the sin of the world through the death of Christ. At the cross, Jesus’ death showed the love of God and the wrath of God at the same time.

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