Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pay-Back Time

How can a God who is loving inflict pain and suffering on anyone? Perhaps you haven't seen enough Korean and Japanese revenge movies. There's a Korean revenge flick called "Old Boy." It's a story of a man and his love for his sister that grew into a incestuous relationship that was discovered by the film's protagonist. The shame of the discovery caused her to take her own life and the rest of the movie was the brother's 14 year long plot to get back at the man who began to spread the rumour in the most painful way possible.
If you ever read the Prophets, you'll find two very prominent themes: The love of God for his people Israel, and the wrath of God on Israel's enemies (and to a lesser extent, on disobedient Israel herself).
Yes, God is a God of love - jealous, vengeful love. But struggling with the idea of a loving God who is capable of inflicting harm means basing your definition of love on the assumption that a lover can not possibly act in venegence or wrath. This is simply not true, even in human experience. A loving God does not mean a sissy-God, who is mild and spineless, who allows himself and his beloved to be trampled under foot by their enemies. I really do feel sorry for those who are not the people of God - cause it seems as though God is a pay-back God, a bully par excellence on those who dare scorn him and those in his 'gang'. The more I see the fiery wrath of God, the more I am convinced of his passionate love for his people. Just rejoice and be glad that this God is on our side, he is our warrior-lover.

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