God of Vengeance?

Many cradle Christians are surprised when I, a cradle Jew, tell them that I believe that God is unchanging. That His mercy has always been accompanied by His justice — justice often including the bloodiest kind of vengeance wrought upon those who defy Him. Including His chosen people, who suffer mightily when they defy His commandments.

I’ve heard, times without number, “our God is a God of love; not like that Hebrew God of vengeance.” Well, here’s a news flash: God is eternal. Numbers 23:19:

God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Now, one may believe that the New Testament negated the Old, but one may also believe the moon is made of Swiss cheese. Does not make it so. The New fulfilled prophesies made in the Old, but didn’t negate it.

God is love, or course. But love does not exclude righteous judgment. In fact, love demands justice in the form of punishment for those who deny God. Else we put God in the position of loving evil as much as He loves the good. When our Lord told us not to judge, lest we be judged, he was speaking of the here and now. God remains our judge, and He will extract vengeance. Revelation 20:12:

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

According to what they had done. As my thermodynamics professor used to tell us about God’s Second Law of Thermodynamics (yes, He’s the Author of those, too…), T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L. “Tanstaafl”, which isn’t a Finnish word for breakfast. Stands for There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

Sooner or later, we all pay for our sins. Best to cast them off now, while we have the chance.

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