Sunday, October 16, 2016

Wrath is Cool...It Wears Sunglasses


Gladiator
Taken
True Grit
Man on Fire

Totally satisfying and inspiring scenes of strong people, walking away in slow motion, from a big mess of bad guys piled high is blood and justice.

I too, feel the satisfaction. The craving for justice is in all of us. When it happens, we all get that rush of peace, joy and "all is right in the world now". Their wrath has been satisfied...and theaters full of popcorners jump to their feet in applause. Movies make billions on the predictable effect and movie stars become icons or heroes for life. 

We get it. We love it. Satisfying wrath is really not a hard concept to grasp. It's obvious who the bad guy is, who the good guy is, that the sin was bad and the vengeance was justified. In real life though, it's a little less clear. We debate over who the hero really is, what actions are intolerable and what should be done about it...if anything. We vote on who knows best how to answer these questions and puts the judges in power. Always leaving many in disagreement and dissatisfaction. Wrath unsatisfied.

Reading many Old Testament books makes me think of this. God, needing to satisfy His wrath, sin being dealt with and then the readers thinking He is a big bad guy. What? It's ok for Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, Hailee Steinfeld and Russel Crow, but not God Almighty? Head shaking confusion. Fallible humans can kill and feed their pleasure, but God...the only One worthy or deserving...isn't allowed. Where was God when...?? How could God allow...?? Questions indicating a discrepancy between who we think should and shouldn't exact justice....and what actions deserve it.

It's pretty clear to me that we think humans are pretty awesome beings. I agree, it's easy to see "goodness" in most people. Youtube clips of the random acts of kindness that bring tears and hope to our eyes. It's encouraging. Funny how we forget, don't notice or become desensitized to the unholiness in ourselves. No Youtube clips of that stuff...actually, there is, we just don't recognize it anymore. It's normal now. People are honored over the Almighty. We suppose good intentions in the heart of man, and bad in the heart of God. How ironic is that? Deceitfully wicked.

I need to remind myself everyday, that Jesus is the perfect lamb of God. The only one who could and did suffer torture, humiliation and death for me. Never a selfish thought or deed. He could don the shirtless war garb, showing His strength, calm vengeance on His face,  totally justified, and put all of us in our place...and He has done it before and will again...but He is so patient.

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

When I wish He would just return and take me home, I remember His love. This is why we wait. I am ready, but really, as a bride checks the mirror seconds before her appearance to her groom, I need to continue fixing my face, my dress and my heart. I want to be as pleasing to Him as possible when He returns. Not to be accepted, I am that already, but because His love compels me to...
"walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called" (Eph 4:1) Many others are not ready at all and He holds back his wrath, waiting for their love. This mercy is beautiful...I don't think I would be that loving. His love compels me to wait patiently too. Imagine, any of those screen actors, waiting, loving and longing for the love of the evil doer. I'd like to see a plot like that on the big screen. Would we cheer? 
We get it....we understand a story of vengeance and the pouring out of wrath. We just have our characters a little mixed up. 

He is not slow. He is just very loving. He is also a promise keeper...