The Word teaches that God is love …and that His very nature is to love. The depth and width of this love is unfathomable to us…none but Christ - God Himself, has reached it to explain to us … but we have also Bible illustrations to explore various dimensions and levels, concluding that even at its most rudimentary – God’s love differs by light years from best human expressions. There are depictions of the word “love” ….from the brotherly, family “love” to the romantic … and the unconditional agape love in Christ. There has to be limited understanding of divine attributes because the created cannot fully grasp the nature and ways of the Creator. Still, in His Word, by His revelation – we find pieces of a puzzle which one day will be a perfect picture.
The favourite quote in I Corinthans 13 says Love is patient; kind and envies no one, never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offence…. keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over another's sins, but delights in the truth. There is nothing it cannot face; no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance. Of the three things which last forever …faith, hope, and love; the greatest is love.
When God loves, there is the implication of a blessing and multiplication. Deu 7:13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee:... but Moses presents this linkage only in the context of obedience to Him.
Then there are deeper expositions on love …Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
The correction of God in our lives is the most biblically vivid evidence of His love. In the same manner that we discipline our children so they end well – so will God chasten those He loves. Chastening is always painful and often perceived as negative … causing tears … but gives proof of son-ship.
Then there are the very deepest illustrations of God’s love as seen in God’s love for Christ, His only begotten son … also seen in the love Christ had for His disciples, notably John …said to be singled out amongst others in fondness. Those God loves deeply He sacrifices … they will be the ones chosen for Patmos…for martyrdom …for the most critical assignments which others evade because of extreme inconvenience and sufferings. But though they are sacrificed for others, they will have crowns in God’s eternity. They are the ones the Psalmist spoke of ..Psa 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
We will not understand the logic of God’s love if we do not believe and understand His eternal providence … we do not have earthly parallels to value the crowns promised in a world to come and our instincts naturally lean to earth bound gratifications …forgoing eternally enduring laurels.
Can God hate? The writer of Proverbs thought so … so it is also written that Esau was hated showing that God hates deeds and people … again I need help to understand the full meaning of this.
Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Rom_9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Just as love is best seen when understood in eternal perspective, hatred of sin and those who up to death have turned down God’s salvation (refusing repentance) … is also best demonstrated in the context of an eternal damnation. Those who say God is so much of love and cannot commit to hell, should examine the many pictures of God’s dealings especially in the Old Testament which many sadly want to expunge from scriptures…and refuse to teach …leading to many deceived. Not teaching that hell is not where we can ever wish for our worst enemies is a grave omission. As natural man cannot love as God loves, humanity is equally incapable to hate as God can hate. This again is hard for me to grasp. But scriptures demonstrate this over and over again.
If God demonstrates a fury and hatred that caused the earth to swallow the disobedient of laws that were imperfect, that they could not (without Him) obey in the first place, presented through an imperfect Moses, and administered by imperfect priests … consider what will happen to those who shun His only Son, His Holy Spirit, the Perfect Priesthood and the good news of Christ. If He overlooks the evils of this generation, God will have to apologize to all the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah who had no Bible and did not hear any sermons, had no Holy Spirit and no pastors teaching on 24hr networks.
The highest demonstration of God’s love to others must be to see, with eternal vision, the true state of humanity and act to alert of this higher reality …. much like a mother who disregards all decorum as she wakes to sense smoke from her infant’s room …leaping out in night dress to rush grabbing the irritated, crying baby out of her cot…dashing for the main exit to the open streets in a panic to safety.
Lord, fill me more with your love that I may receive the grace already given to tell everyone I can, in every way and form that I can, of the good news of the gospel and the escape of coming judgments.. Lord, help me to be the highest example of a living sacrifice and God’s love so that many come to Christ. Open the eyes of the many reading this blog to your love that promises for all that believe - forgiveness, mercy and joy … life that extends to eternal provisions that eyes have yet to see … and hearts have yet to imagine.
Heb_1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.