Tuesday, December 15, 2015

God came down

Manger scene

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." John 1:14 
(photo © 2015 by V. Nesdoly)

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Micah 1:1-16

"For behold the Lord is coming out of His place;
He will come down
And tread on the high places of the earth." Micah 1:3

During this season when we prepare to celebrate the incarnation—Christ coming down as God in flesh—Micah's mention of the LORD also coming down grabs our attention. But as we read all of Micah 1, we see that this descent is altogether different from His coming to that Bethlehem stable as a newborn.

Here His appearance is fearful and powerful. He descends to Israel's and Judah's "high places"—elevated sites where idols were worshiped. And He comes with white hot heat:  
"The mountains will melt under Him /And the valleys will split /Like water soured down a steep place" Micah 1:4

Why the fearful coming down? Why the anger? This is a side of God we don't like to see. As Joseph Scheumann says in the introduction to his article "Five Truths about the Wrath of God:"*
"The doctrine of the wrath of God has fallen on hard times. In today's world, any concept of God's wrath upsets our modern sentiments. … We live in a day where we have set ourselves as the judge and God's character is on trial…"

In the article Scheumann makes (and elaborates on) five points about God's wrath: 
God's wrath is just.
God's wrath is to be feared.
God's wrath is consistent in both Old and New Testament.
God's wrath is his love in action against sin.
God's wrath is satisfied in Christ.

It is the last point that makes the story of God's incarnation in Jesus so incredible. For Jesus was born so that someday He would become the object of God's white-hot anger against sin, for us. He would take the punishment our sins deserved: John 3:16; Romans 5:8-10, 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Timothy 1:15.

We must never apologize for God's wrath against sin (all that is twisted, bad, hurtful…). For it is this wrath combined with His righteousness and love in perfect balance that invented the way for us to be saved from our own sinful nature—through Jesus.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to never take lightly Your abhorrence of sin. Thank You for making a way for sinful me to be right with You. Amen. 

*Read all of "Five Truths About the Wrath of God."

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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