Earlier, we talked about two apparent opposites in God’s character. These opposites, God’s mercy and His severity, or sternness, run all through the Bible. Some people got the idea in the Old Testament God was severe and in the New Testament, He wasn't. That's completely incorrect. In Isaiah 45:21, God says:
"There is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior." (NKJ)
Those are the two aspects. He exercises justice but He's also willing to save. Every one of us has got to relate to God either as Savior or as the Just Judge of all the earth.
And then in Romans 11:22, Paul says this:
"Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off." (NIV)
So there you are, right in the New Testament ‑ the kindness of God but also the sternness of God. One does not do away with the other. It's very important that you and I understand these two aspects of God's nature, His kindness, but also His severity ‑ that He's a Savior but also a Judge. And the reason why it's important is that God expects you and me to have the same attitude in these things that He has.
In Psalm 97, verse 10, the psalmist says:
"You who love the Lord, hate evil!" (NKJ)
Notice, there are two strong words there ‑ love and hate. The psalmist says, if you claim to love the Lord, there's a corresponding attitude that must be manifested in you which is hating evil; so there in your character, there must be the two same opposite sides of the coin ‑ loving the Lord but hating evil. If you love the Lord, you cannot compromise with evil. It's impossible. It's inconsistent. We must never assume that God's mercy sets aside His judgment. So many people are making that mistake today ‑ Christian theologians, ministers and others. We have to ask ourselves: do I hate evil? This will measure the depth of our love for God.
Lord, give me that balance in the way I know You so that I love You, but just as You, I’ll hate evil. I decide to eliminate any compromise with evil out of my life because I love You with all my heart. I praise You that by the sacrifice of Jesus I get the grace for this. 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.