Loved by a Dangerous God – What does that mean to us?
I asked the following question at a Bible study I was teaching: If I asked you to describe God, what would you say?
Answers from my group included: friend, merciful, trustworthy, loving, loyal.
When I answered, “Dangerous”, there were a few who were shocked and wondered where I was going with this.
One of my favorite animals is a lion and I’ve been taught since I was young that the lion is known as the king of the jungle. In C.S. Lewis’s book, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, Aslan the lion represents Jesus Christ, the Lion and the Lamb. I remember watching the movie and being mesmerized by the beauty and majesty of Aslan and imagined myself reaching out to touch him, like Lucy did.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.””
He is good. But, he is also dangerous…
In reality, we’d much rather watch a movie or read a book about lions, but not really encounter one. Being in the presence of a lion without being behind safety glass would make us very uncomfortable to say the least. Most of us want and cling to our safety. So, how does this mirror our relationship with God?
Do we worship a dangerous God
or one we feel comfortable being around?
For instance, do we really want to meet Him face-to-face? Exodus 33:20, states – But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”
Do we really desire to cozy up to Him, thinking He is a safely, contained campfire? Hebrews 12:28-29, states – “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”
Let’s look at a few examples in the Bible illustrating how dangerous God is:
He brings a flood in Genesis 6:7 – “So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’”
He sent hell fire to Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:24-25 – “Then the LORD rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation.”
He released 10 plagues on Egypt in Exodus 7-11
He drowned the Egyptian army in Exodus 14
He wiped out Korah, Dathan, Abiram and their respective families along with another 250 of their followers as the earth opened up and swallowed them whole in Numbers 16
He sent a plague killing 14,700 Israelites, who complained and conspired against Moses and Aaron, the morning after the earth swallowed up the people in Numbers 16.
He struck down Uzzah for irreverence in 2 Samuel 6:6-7 – “But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.”
The angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, while Israel slept soundly in 2 Kings 19.
God is dangerous, unpredictable, uncontainable, and cannot be tamed or manipulated. He’s dangerous to those who practice evil but He’s also dangerous to those He loves.
In his article “Fearing God” in Christianity Today, William D. Eisenhower wrote:
Unfortunately, many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God’s function is to offset it. How different this is from the biblical position that God is far scarier than the world …. When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world’s threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world’s equal …. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down, only to lift me up again. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.
God is the great I Am! Elohiym (God, Judge, Creator). Adonai (Lord, Master). Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah). Jehovah Jireh (Lord, Provider). Jehovah Rapha (Lord, Healer). El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty). Qanna (Jealous God…wanting all our praise for Himself and no one else).
God doesn’t want what’s good for us; He wants what’s best for us.
And for that reason, He causes us to expand our comfort zone, reach beyond our line of limitations, break our chains of bondage to fear, addiction, temptation, self-confidence, unforgiveness, to name a few.
It’s incredible and hard to grasp that God, in all His glory and in all He is, loves us despite our weaknesses, complaining, doubt, insecurities, pride. He loves us beyond human understanding!
2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
John 3:16-17 –“ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Psalm 86:15 – “But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.”
1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear;”
Jeremiah 31:3 – The Lord says, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
1 John 3:1 – “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Romans 5:5 – “For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.”
Romans 5:8 – “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Yes! God is love. And yes, God is dangerous!
And here’s the kicker to spark a fire in you. Genesis 1:27 states, “God created man in His own image.”
Therefore, you are dangerous too!
I love our church’s mission statement: To build a life-giving church that lasts. We are called to Love God (Reach up), Love the Church (Reach in), and Love People (Reach out).
The Word cannot lie, and Jesus says that whoever believes in Him will do the same works He has done, and even greater works. (John 14:12) We are His instruments to use to reach a hurting world…break bondage, reveal Christ’s love, illustrate hope, pray and heal.
When we allow God to transform us and reveal Himself to us without limitations or compromise, we will understand how dangerous we really are to the evil in the world around us.
It’s time to turn up our degree of danger for the Kingdom of God!