Many people find themselves torn over how the universe came into existence. The Bible does not, in the slightest, beat around the bush on the matter. It states, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1).
Many so called gods have come and gone through the ages. The Lord God Jehovah is completely unique - He is "the everlasting God!" (Rom. 16:26). Without beginning and without end, eternal by nature. He was not created, designed, fashioned, manufactured or imagined into existence. It is not enough to say there is no god like Him - there is no God except Him!
Probably, one of the most prominent characteristics of God that immediately comes to the mind of most people is His power. Nuclear weapons, laser beams, super heroes with super powers... We're bombarded with images of power through literature and media. But all of those images, and all of the potential power that can be conjured up by the imagination of man, does not begin to compare with God's power. His power is infinite, limitless. The scriptures refer to Him as omnipotent, all powerful! (Rev. 19:6).
We don't like to think of God being a God of judgment (Eccl. 12:13-14) and wrath (Rom. 1:18). However, we need to keep in mind the reason for His exhibiting those particular characteristics - sin, unrighteousness, unfaithfulness, wickedness, evil - all of which are contrary to God's very nature and self-destructive to those who practice such. God is totally righteous, and He created us in His own image. He holds us accountable for living up to that image as best we can. While God condemns sin and warns us to abstain from it (1 Thess. 5:22), He is also merciful and eager to forgive when we repent and seek His forgiveness (Dan. 8:8-9).
If we have a problem with God bring a God of judgment, thinking of Him being a God of wrath is even more troublesome. We don't like to think of God in that light. We like to focus on what we consider to be His positive characteristics - love, goodness, kindness, mercy, grace and forgiveness. We put a negative connotation on the concepts of judgment and wrath and even more so as they might apply to God.
We're happy to think of God being good and holy and His being a God of love and mercy and grace and truth. We like it that He is faithful and righteous, and if we don't think too much about the implications we feel pretty good about His being a God of commitment. His being a just God makes us a little uneasy since being just means that He is a God of justice; we want mercy and grace, not justice. If God being just gives us some twinges of discomfort, His being a God of judgment really sets off alarms.
To all fathers out there, Happy Father's Day! I can't think of a more appropriate time to ask the following question: "What will happen to a nation whose children grow up without a conscience?" One reason it's appropriate to ask this question now is due to the mounting evidence that such is happening in our nation, right now.
By: Dennis Stackhouse
A wayward young man ran away from home on one occasion. This boy didn't even bother to let his parents know where he was. As time went by, his father died. He happened to read about it in the newspaper and then came home. His mother received him kindly upon his return. The day came when the will was to be read. The family all gathered together and the lawyer began to read the deceased father's last will. To the great surprise of all who were present, the will spoke about the wayward career of the run away son in great detail. In anger, the boy rose up and stormed out of the room, left the house and was not heard from for three years. When he was eventually found, he was informed that after telling of his waywardness, the will went on to bequeath him a considerable sum of money. Can we imagine how much sorrow he would have been spared if he had only heard the reading of the will through to the end?
God is totally, absolutely, fundamentally righteous! Such a statement's a no-brainer, right? Right! But it's also a necessary statement, especially for the benefit of those who have weak faith. Knowing that God is righteous gives us confidence in all that He claims to be and in all of His teachings and in all of His assurances laid out for us in scripture.
Tomorrow our nation will observe Memorial Day, a national holiday. It is observed each year on the last Monday in the month of May. The holiday, formerly known as Decoration Day, commemorates military personnel - men and women - who have died while in service to the United States of America.
Gary L. Hutchens