How can we understand a loving AND wrathful God?

Questions : in the bible is written God as loving and merciful God? Whereas in some scriptures it is also found that God is a consuming fire and God expresses his wrath daily ? How do you explain this ?

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Hello @wanen

I’m so glad to share to you my response to this.

Yes, God is loving and merciful because LOVE is His very nature.

And you’re right, God is always wrathful.

But, the love of God and His wrath never contradict to each other. And there is only one place in the world where we these two emerged perfectly.

ON THE CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST

God is holy, therefore He is wrathful towards all sin, and we are sinful, therefore we deserve His wrath.
But instead of Him punishing us, He chose to sent His Son Jesus, to be ultimate substitute and sacrifice and payment for our sin.
God loves us enough that He does not choose to punish us on what we deserved, but pour all punishment on His Son Jesus.

On the cross, Jesus bear all evils of the world, the wrath and justice of God was poured upon Him. Yet, it was the greatest expression of His love for us. And Jesus did not stay dead, He rise again to prove the perfect emergence of God’s wrath and His love for us.

You and I are sinful.
We deserve the right punishment.
Yet, God chose to express it on His Son Jesus.
Because He loves you and I enough, that even His one and only Son was sent to earth, so whoever believes in Him must not perish, but have eternal life.

I hope this answer helps you.

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Hello Wanen,
Your question is a good one. I think it’s important here to compare God’s love with ours (humans’), and God’s wrath, or anger, with ours.
Firstly, God’s anger. It’s worth always keeping in mind that there is only ever one thing that arouses God’s anger and wrath: evil. He will never love evil. He will never condone or tolerate evil.
By comparison, it’s observable that many things stir the anger of human beings, fallen as we are: most usually it’s hurt pride, injured vanity, thwarted ambitions, personal insults… things of this nature. Strangely and sadly, and conversely to God, evil doesn’t even always make us angry. Sometimes love and truth (attributes of God Himself) even make us angry. Also, God’s anger is fully controlled. He can postpone it, he can relent from His anger at will, he can choose even in His anger to show mercy. Compare this with human beings who lose their temper, are controlled by their anger, are sometimes incapable of mercy once they’re angry, et cetera.

God’s love: the Gospel of John tells us, “For this is how God loved the world: that he gave his only begotten son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish” (that is, suffer the justice of God, which is his wrath against evil). The apostle Paul expounds on this in Romans 5 by saying, “while we were still sinners (that is, God’s enemies, deserving His wrath), Christ died for us.” God died for us, and that is love; He did it to bring us to Him, Who is Love, that we might know love. Love can unite all things, except love can never unite good and evil.

Paul also tells us to consider God, that He is both kind and severe. So, just as God’s love has gone out to His enemies, beyond all human comprehension, so His wrath will go out to all who choose to remain His enemies, beyond all human comprehension.

If you yourself struggle with reconciling the person of God, I pray His spirit will lead you into the truth, that that will bring peace and understanding to your heart. I myself struggle with God’s love and anger (or displeasure) as realities in my life.
If you are engaged in witnessing to someone, and these are their struggles, I pray that the Lord would give you wisdom and love and much grace to lead them to know the Father, who loves beyond comparison, and is so infinitely good that He perfectly (without corruption of desire, motive, or means) hates evil.

May the Spirit of Truth shine in your heart.
Yours in Christ,
Jeremy

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I think the hard part then in understanding God’s anger becomes learning to see and judge good and evil according to God’s standards, and then, beyond that, understanding why He considers something to be evil.

Good question @wanen - and some good answers you’ve gotten from @domingoosabel and @countryinked.

Here is a principle to remember - to the degree that you love someone (or something), you will hate whatever threatens the object of your love. One reason that God hates sin so much is because He loves us, and He knows what sin will do to those created in His image.

The verse for that is Song of Solomon 8:6 - love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave; the coals thereof are coals of fire that have a most vehement flame.

What does “love is strong as death” mean? Ask a husband who puts himself between his wife and a gunman - ask a mother charging into a burning house to save her child - ask a Savior hanging on a cross.

What does “jealousy is cruel as the grave” mean? Think of a she bear robbed of her cubs. The word “jealousy” means zeal. In fact, the word “jealous” comes from the same Greek root as the word “zealous” - and that Greek root is zelos.

As intense as one’s love is, so intense is their avenging zeal against whoever harms their beloved.

And what is all of that “coals of fire” and “vehement flame” about? It wasn’t created for man, but for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). It is the intensity of God’s wrath against those who hurt His beloved, and it is as passionate against His enemies as His love is for His beloved.

And while it was not created for men, those who persist in siding against Him, who oppose His love, who serve His enemies and turn others against Him - who trample underfoot the blood of His Son who loved them unto death - they will perish in wrath and share the torments of the damned, magnified by the belated realization that love had been their true destiny now forever lost.

I hope this helps you see an additional connection between love and wrath.

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I think we need to look at God as he related to man in the Old Testament vs how He relates to man in the New Testament. Jesus came to “bring Peace towards men”, To pay the price for sin for all men, for all time. We are no longer “at War” with God as it were. Jesus brought peace between Us and God. We are now, more likely than not, Reaping what we Sew and NOT experiencing some type of “Wrath of God”. (We do have an Enemy as well…but, that is another topic).