We need to take a somewhat closer look at the judgement side of God. Listen to what Peter says in his Second Epistle, chapter 3, verses 6 through 10. He discusses this very issue and he's speaking about God's judgments on the world. He speaks about the flood first:
"By water also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. [That was the flood.] By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men. [There is a day of judgement ahead.]
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. [So the Lord is not in a hurry. He is long suffering. Peter goes on:]
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. But He's patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. [God's patience will not ultimately set aside His judgement on wickedness. What a day that will be:]
The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation..." (NIV)
It means salvation for those who meet His condition but it does not set aside the judgment for those who reject His mercy. So, Peter warns Christians. He says, "Because God's judgement seems to be delayed, don't imagine that it's been cancelled." God is simply giving all of us an opportunity to get ready to be reconciled with God before the judgement comes. Therefore, He calls us not to reject His mercy, but to repent; to submit our own thoughts and to change our mind.
And there, here in closing, is an example of the wrong attitude in man. It's taken from Ecclesiastes 8, verse 11.
Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." (NKJ)
So because people don't see God's judgment immediately manifested, they think God is not going to judge and they can safely go on in evil. But that is a complete misunderstanding of God's attitude which is a combination of mercy and severity.
Lord, I want to appreciate and accept your inner attitude of aversion to evil. Help me to never diminish the evilness of sin and to take your grace seriously and take it wholeheartedly. Let me be an example for others in this also. Amen.
This devotional is taken from
God invites us to fellowship with Him, but to do this we must bring our ways and thoughts into line with His.