Monday, March 18, 2024

Falling Into the Hands of the Living God

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31 NKJV)

Yes, it can be a very terrifying thing to fall into the hands of God. That is not because of God’s disposition toward us but is purely a matter of our perception of and disposition toward God.

When Adam turned away from God in the Garden, pulling away from the very life God offered, his perception of God became distorted. So, when God came calling in the Garden in the cool of the day, Adam hid in fear. He perceived God as being against him instead of for him. He was hostile against God in his own mind (Romans 8:7).

God is love (1 John 4:8), and those who are properly oriented toward God perceive him properly, as love. But those who are not properly oriented toward God perceive him in terror and dread.

God is Love, and God loves as God is, so all God’s actions are always loving toward all, even the most wicked. When Adam disobeyed, God did not love him one bit less. God’s love toward us never wavers toward us, never gives up on us but perseveres for our sake. It is steadfast.

First John 4:18 tells us that there is no fear in love but perfect love drives out fear. Where we are properly oriented toward God and his love, there is no fear, for we know God and his love for what they are, and that leaves no room for fear. But those who turn away from God misperceive even the love of God, and it seems a torment to them and that it comes to do them harm.

We are not, as Jonathan Edwards wrongly supposed, sinners in the hands of an angry God. We are sinners in the hands of a loving God, the God who put himself in the hands of angry sinners in order to deliver us from ourselves and our wrong perceptions of God.

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