The wrath of God is something that we who are on this side of the cross, tend not to think about to often. The New Testament pretty much just talks about forgiveness and grace. But I think we forgot about what that grace is truly shielding us from.
“So now I will attack you like a lion, like a leopard that lurks along the road. Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away, I will tear out your heart. I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal. You are about to be destroyed, O Israel – yes by Me, your only helper.” Hosea 13:7-9 NLT
Well it doesn’t get much more descriptive than that. That was the kind of vengeance that God brought down on Israel several times throughout their history because of their disobedience. It is also what awaits those who never cross the line of faith either before they die or before He returns. I know that is hard to swallow, even for me and I am the one who just wrote it. But the bible is pretty clear.
It may seem harsh, but that makes His grace and forgiveness that much greater. I mean when I think about my sin and the things that I have done in my life, I know I deserve the wrath of God. But instead, he has blessed me beyond anything I could imagine. No matter how far I stray, He is always there with love and grace. That part of the equation has never changed. Even after God said all of those things back in Hosea, He finishes with grace.
“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sins have brought you down. Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.” Hosea 14:1-2
“The Lord says, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; My love will know no bounds, for My anger will be gone forever.” Hosea 14:4
So I guess it really is a matter of perspective. How do we choose to see this story? How do we choose to view God? Is it about wrath and vengeance or mercy and forgiveness? How we answer that question will determine how we live our life.