Throughout the Bible, God is revealed as a holy God and every attribute of God is a revelation of his divine essence. The same God who is glorious in his love is also glorious in bringing down those who oppose and hate him.
The apostle John tells us: God is love ~ 1 John 4:8, and in the book of the Revelation, the apostle John tells us how God is praised, worshiped, and glorified for his judgments against the ungodly.
1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up THE WRATH OF GOD.
2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. ~ Revelation 15:1-4
Recently I came across a teaching which said the following:
God’s justice is something God does, and like everything He does, it flows from Who He is. The Scriptures tell us that God IS Love (1 John 4:8, 16); but there is NOT ONE Scripture that tells us that God IS Justice. God does justice, yes; but He IS Love. God IS NOT Justice who does Love. God IS Love who does justice.
Upon reading this, it wouldn’t take much for a person to come away with the conclusion that the writer is setting forth the ideology that love is the supreme attribute of God. Though the Bible does teach God is love, the Bible never teaches that love trumps all the other attributes of God.
God is love. He is merciful. He is gracious, and he is also angry with the wicked every day. ~ Psalm 7:11.
That last statement – God is angry with the wicked every day. – is a difficult one for many to swallow, but it is true nevertheless, because God never changes. ~ Malachi 3:6
Throughout the Bible, there are many attributes which the scriptures ascribe to God and each one is revealed in a very specific context.
For example, after the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, the Egyptians who attempted to do the same, were drowned. Afterwards, Israel sang a victory song to the Lord in which they proclaimed: “the Lord is a MAN OF WAR: the Lord is his name.” ~ Exodus 15:3
In Israel’s time of trouble, when they needed God to defend them and deliver them from the pursuit of Pharaoh and the Egyptian army, God was revealed to them as A MAN OF WAR .
When God gave to Moses the Ten Commandments, God revealed, in the very first command, that, he is a JEALOUS GOD.
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I THE LORD THY GOD AM A JEALOUS GOD, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me…~ Exodus 20:2-5
Throughout the old testament, God referred to himself as a Jealous God within the context of idols. God alone is God, and there his no other God besides him. Those who serve idols provoke his anger. Even under the new testament, God, who is love, is a jealous God who will not tolerate his people serving other gods (idols).
If we think that because God is love, he is no longer a jealous God who will not be displeased with idolatry, we have embarked upon deception. God is who he declares himself to be, and he does not change. God said to Moses: “I AM that I AM.”
Whenever a scriptural truth such as, God is love, is elevated beyond the boundaries of the whole counsel of scripture, error quickly follows.
By emphasizing, God is love, as if its is the supreme attribute of God that trumps all others, we become prey to the mercy of those who define God’s love out of their own human reasoning.Thus the universalist can claim – everyone will be saved and no one will be damned for rejecting Jesus, because God is love, and God wouldn’t send anyone to hell. Yet this view of God’s love is not compatible with the whole counsel of scripture.
Deuteronomy 32:4 says God is JUST and RIGHT, and Psalm 89:14 declares “ JUSTICE and JUDGMENT are the habitation of God’s throne.”
Psalm 9:6 says: The Lord is known by the JUDGMENT which he executeth., and in Isaiah, God declares that he is a Just God: there is no God else beside me; a JUST GOD and a Savior; there is none beside me. ~ Isaiah 45:21
In Jeremiah, God says the following:
23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. ~ Jeremiah 9:23-24
God’s character and attributes are proclaimed all throughout the scriptures and only when we hold them together do we get a true portrait of who God is.