The Goodness And Severity Of God

One of the first truths that small children learn about God is that He is good. A prayer of thanksgiving offered by boys and girls is found in Psalm 33:5; Psalm 118:29. It was said of the seed of Abraham, God’s chosen people, in ages past: “Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart” (Psalm 73:1).

Yes, God blessed Israel abundantly as long as the people were faithful to Him. Likewise, God’s goodness and mercy have been manifested toward all men in the giving of Jesus to die for the sins of mankind (Romans 5:8; John 3:16-17). James declared in his epistle: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow turning” (James 1:17).

In order to enjoy the blessings of a spiritual nature in Christ, man has to turn to God in trust and obedience. These blessings are “in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). And, the way a penitent believe gets "into Christ" is through the act of baptism (Gal. 3:26-27). However, all men both good and evil, enjoy the temporal and physical blessings (Matthew 5:44-45; Romans 2:4). On the other hand, God is also a just God, exacting severity upon all those who disobey Him (Genesis 2:16-17; Genesis 3:1-2,22-24; Genesis 4:9-15; Genesis 6:5-7;Leviticus 10:1-3; Leviticus 6:8-13; Leviticus 26:33; Nehemiah 1:8). God is indeed one of severity.

Today, warnings can be found in the covenant of Jesus Christ concerning punishment for those who live in sin. The Lord taught that they who enter the wide gate and travel the broad way would eventually suffer destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). Jesus frequently spoke of a place called hell (Matthew 5:22,29-30). The wicked will enter this place of eternal punishment when the Lord comes again (Matthew 25:41). Paul declared that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), that is everlasting separation from God.

Yes, God is the God of love, goodness, mercy and grace, but He is also the God of justice and severity. Every sin not covered by the blood of His Son must be dealt with and justice must be exacted. We all should desire to place our faith in Jesus Christ as being the Son of God and give our lives in humble submission to the will of the heavenly Father (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:8-9; Revelation 2:10). Raymond Elliott

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets