“Behold then the kindness and severity of God” Romans 11:22aI wonder, sometimes, if we Americans aren’t guilty of worshiping only “half-a-God.” We sing about His mercy and kindness. We love to talk about His love, as we “count our many blessings” and tell others of a God who loves them and has “a wonderful plan” for their lives. But rarely do we stop and think about the harder truths of God – things like his wrath and justice, or how He absolutely hates all sin.
The result of this is that we are not a people who know God, or fear God or “tremble at His Word.” (Isa 66:2). His commands don’t carry nearly as much weight with us as do the opinions of the “experts” on TV. We’re far more likely to take our views about personal issues, like sex or raising children or building a business, from the people around us rather than the God above us. We don’t know or walk with God!
One of the great benefits of studying the Bible verse by verse is that it forces us to deal with the hard things in God’s Word just as much as we get to rejoice in the easy and more pleasant things. I remind you of this because Romans 11, which we're studying at Rockport right now, is filled with hard things. Here we find God in all His sovereign supremacy reigning and ruling over sinful man, hardening some and pardoning others as He desires, and not asking anyone’s permission.
My prayer, as we wrestle through these difficult truths together, is that God will use this time to deepen your sense of dependence on Him, that He will give you an ever-increasing admiration and love for His mercy; and an ever-growing amazement at the grace that broke through to save you.! May we learn to worship a “Whole God” Who “has mercy on whom He desires, and hardens whom He desires” (Rm 9:18)
Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone be the Glory)
Pastor Scott Lee