Should God repay you on your terms when you have rejected His? You must choose, not I! So declare what you know. – Job 34:33
In this “information age,” we are much more aware of natural disasters (and their devastating effects) leaving many to wonder why God would allow such things to happen. Some may even use the resultant suffering as an excuse for their own unbelief or rejection of the Lord, seeing Him as vengeful or hurtful in His actions (or lack of protection). Others just see Him as distant or detached and unworthy of worship. Lacking spiritual understanding, it is “human” to seek someone to blame for that which is beyond our control, but what about the negative consequences of our own actions?
Many people (even so-called “Christians”) ignore the utter contempt that they have expressed for God’s holiness and commandments when such ignorance has brought upon them the inevitable retribution or negative results that He promised and forewarned. Even when God allows a temporary reprieve, they ignore His apparent mercy in that He does not destroy them for their blasphemy. Why would anyone expect God to be gracious with those who treat Him with utter disrespect?
While we may receive mercy from God’s hand, we do not deserve it. That is why we call it grace (unmerited favor). At the same time, we may also receive grace from God, when we deserve punishment. In this, we see His mercy. God is good and holy. He is also loving and in Christ Jesus, the punishment for sin may be received and grace awarded. These are God’s terms. He gave His one and only Son to enact them. Why should we expect Him to reward us on our terms if we continually reject His?
Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love. Souls that converse much with sin and wrath, may be much terrified; but souls that converse much with grace and mercy, will be much humbled. – Thomas Brooks