One God, or the other?
It is true and reassuring (to those who believe and love God)
that He is a Father to us, His children. With all that implies of the best and
most comforting and most loving of human parents for their children.
But... God is more than this! He is the all-powerful, eternal,
and eternally righteous Creator of all things. Something no other fathers or
mothers can, in their wildest dreams, imagine themselves being! This awesome
fact adds another dimension to His character -- which we have to think about,
and take into account: that is, Almighty God is a being of such purity that He
cannot continue to look upon sin. Sin, wickedness, in any and every form, cannot
exist in His presence, any more than darkness can exist where there is perfect
The point is: there are, simply put, two primary aspects of
God's character, and neither can exist without the other: (1) there is an
absolute holiness, and purity, and righteousness, AND (2) there is a wonderful
love, mercy, and peace. But neither of these aspects of character can "drown
out" or nullify or negate the other! It's not an "either-or", but a "not only --
Man must find the way, which thankfully God has provided, to
enter into the presence of the merciful, loving Father... whilst giving proper
acknowledgment and service and deference to the holy and righteous Being, who
burns with an unquenchable fire, and who hates sin everlastingly.
That way, as we know, is only through Christ, and an
acknowledgment of our sins, and repentance, and renewal, and faith in His
promises, and belief in all that God has said. That way cannot be on our own, or
based on our own achievements or merit -- of which there will never be
If we find that "place", in the bosom of the Father, then He
is -- surely -- a kind and loving parent to us, His children. But if we lose
that place, or leave it -- like the Egyptians or Jews who did not remain in
their blood-sprinkled houses on the fateful Passover night -- then the same
Being who can be the loving Father can manifest Himself in a merciless, avenging
Angel of Death.
True, He may -- with some portion of His vast mercy --
continue to bless us, or any other sinner, with long life and good health and/or
other "good" things... but the separation and death will be inevitable --
because He is a God who cannot tolerate willful disobedience or indifference or
I keep coming back in my mind to that "either-or" and "not
only-but also" choice! So many times, it seems to me, we human beings, in a vain
and partial attempt at logic, set out to argue with one another (or even with
ourselves, in our own minds!): 'Let's see now. The right answer ought to be A or
B..." And we seem forget that the right answer might be... A AND B!
We could ask the question: "Which God do I worship? the
powerful, jealous, demanding God... or the loving Heavenly Father?" As if we
have to choose one or the other. When the right answer should be... "not only,
Or: "Who best expresses my concept of God? the Presence that
burned with fire, and shook the mountain, and opened up the earth to swallow up
the rebels in the wilderness? OR the tender and gentle and loving Presence who
so loved the world that He became the Father of a human Son -- through whom He
could reach out to us?" Did Yahweh cease being the one when He became the
Or: "Do I serve God because I love Him, or because I fear Him?
I must choose one or the other."
But... should I choose one or the other?
Or... should I try, difficult though it may sometimes be, to