The thought lingers in the lyrics of the ancient song we’ve been thinking about together. Reflecting on the passing days of our lives, Moses writes,
“For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh (Psa 90:9) …Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath (Psa 90:11)… So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! (Psa 90:12-14)…Let Your work appear to Your servants; and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us. And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psa 90:16-17).
Over the last few days these words have had me thinking about the story of the Bible—from beginning to end. Back and forth. Trying to understand and represent a God who wants us to think of him as a “consuming fire” full of mercy and compassion.
In the process, I’ve tried to reflect on the first impressions of Genesis and the last breathed prayer of the Revelation of John on Patmos.
I’ve tried to bring everything going forward and backward to what Jesus’ suffering and death tell us about God’s love and anger.
Seems to me that one reason the love and wrath of God is hard for us to process is that, in our fallen, frightened state of mind, we tend to see anger as hatred and rejection. Yet within the story of the Bible, God’s burning anger is a way of showing how he feels about the sin that is consuming our days, blinding our eyes to how much he loves us…and keeping us from patiently listening to and helping one another.
Hope I’ve said enough… but not too much to help us think through this together.
On another front, the weather here, as in so many places, seems to be moving in with a vengeance. Expecting a lot of snow, wind and record-breaking low temperatures in the next few hours and days.