Theirs and Ours

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8

It’s a good thing God’s anger is not like ours. If it were, none of us would be around because as soon as we’d say that we’d “zap” this person for doing this or that one for doing that, our sins would come right back to “zap” us. For our sins, as the Scripture tells us, are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We have no reason to point our fingers at others when our own sin condemns us. Certainly people who commit mass genocide or slaughter millions are evil and in an entirely different league than our sin.

Or are they?

For centuries theologians have been debating the “degrees of sin” and the “degrees of punishment” question so I probably won’t resolve it in a short devotional. Suffice to say, our sin would have been enough to condemn us to hell. Not “their” sin, but ours.

It still is a grand mystery that God doesn’t say “enough” at any moment in history.

One day that will happen but for now we can rejoice that God is slow to anger.


2 responses to “Theirs and Ours”

  1. RE: Slow to anger

    Does God deal with individuals in a different fashion than he deals with people corporately?

    Israel and the nations around provoked God’s wrath more than once and received punishment which is recorded in the Old Testament. God was long suffering and patient but eventually dispensed punishment. e.g. Amos

    How do we reconcile that with our belief that “God doesn’t say “enough” at any moment in history.” in reference to our personal behavior?


  2. Noel,
    Israel did provoke God more than a few times but His wrath was rarely immediate. There were “enough!” moments, Lot comes to mind, in Israel’s history. There were “enough” moments in individual’s histories: Annanias and Sophias. My point was that He is more patient than we would like Him to be when it comes to egregious sin. I think we both agree that God is patient even in our personal lives.

    I think what you’re asking is “does God deal with me different than He deals with America?” I don’t know. Good question. Does He?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.