There is no one else like God. We can count on Him no matter what. He is unchangeable, majestic and faithful.1 He and His love will never fail us.2 Still, I think sometimes we struggle with whether He is a God who punishes us or a God who forgives us. Is He a God of wrath or grace?
The truth of who He is is written in the heavens. Whether the sky looks angry with flashes of lightning or a glorious sunset, nature is a reminder that God is always here right where we are no matter where we find ourselves. Let me ask, though, do we always want Him here? Or are there times we secretly hope He’s not watching what we are doing?
The God of Moses
When Moses was 120 years old he told Joshua and the Children of Israel that he could not go into the promised land with them, but God would. He encouraged them with these words. “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”3
In his last recitation before taking his journey home to heaven, Moses declared, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.”4
He went on, though, to warn them about turning away from God. He reminded them of the past. He said, “Israel soon became fat and unruly; the people grew heavy, plump, and stuffed! Then they abandoned the God who had made them. They made light of the Rock of their salvation.”5
We can stir up the wrath of God by our actions. This is one example of it. Moses was teaching the children of Israel to worship the one true God, but instead they followed the gods of their own making, the god of their stomachs was definitely one.
As a result, He gave them laws and commandments to follow so they might never fall into disobedience again. He said, “These laws are not mere words—they are your life! Through obeying them you will live long, plentiful lives in the land you are going to possess across the Jordan River.”6
God of Grace
God forgave the children of Israel, set them free and brought them into the Promised Land. Although many times we see Him as the God of wrath in the Old Testament. But He was then, is now and always will be the God of grace.
He made a way for us as humans to come back to Him when we mess up. He knows we are not perfect so He provided the perfect Lamb as a sacrifice in our place. And when we fail, as He knew we would, He gave us the great commodity called grace as a way back to Him.
In the Old Testament it was through repentance and sacrificial offerings. Today it is by repenting, accepting Jesus’ sacrifice of love and following Him in obedience as our Lord.
God saved us by His grace when we believed. We can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.7 But it was and still is by His grace that we live and move and have our being.8
His desire has always been that not a one of perish, but all come to the redeeming knowledge of Jesus Christ,9 who died a sinless death and rose again to bring us victory. He did all of this so that the same power that raised Him from the dead can live in us.10
His extraordinary plan is for our good and our peace, not for our disaster. It is for us to have a future, a hope11 and a destiny.
“For we are His workmanship, His own master work, a work of art, created in Christ Jesus, reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used for good works, which God prepared for us beforehand taking paths which He set, so that we would walk in them, living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us.”12
He did this beforehand, before we were even a thought in our mother and father’s minds. He saw us before we were born. Every day of our lives was recorded in His book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.13
Who God Is
This is the God we serve. He is a God of grace, one who is as constant as the rising of the sun and the setting. He is as majestic as the endless stars carefully placed throughout the galaxies. More than that, He is faithful to us always.
He sees. He hears. And in His time and His way He answers us always leading us ever closer to the destiny assignment He has for us.
He is my God and I will worship Him even when I don’t clearly understand all the whys and wherefores of what is happening around me. I know He does so I will praise Him in the midst of it all.
I live and worship Him in the collision of the mystery of His ways and the total knowledge of who He is.
He is my God. He is more than enough. He is all I need.14
1Psalm 89:2 AMP
2Psalm 136:1 CEV
3Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
4 Deuteronomy 32:3-4 NIV
5Deuteronomy 32:15 NLT
6Deuteronomy 32:47 TLB
7Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
8Acts 17:28 NIV
9 2 Peter 3:9 NIV
10 Romans 8:11 NIV
11Jeremiah 29:11 AMP
12 Ephesians 2:10 AMP
13 Psalm 139:16 NLT
14 2 Corinthians 12:9 MSG