Goodness and Severity - November 18, 2021

“Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God” (Romans 11:22 KJV). Goodness and severity. We can’t take one and disregard the other. God is good. Yet he is also severe.

God’s kindness? Often mentioned. His forgiveness? The theme of many sermons. Hymns that herald his mercy? Too many to count. But songs that acknowledge his wrath, that look forward to the day of retribution? Not so many.

Out of curiosity I compared the number of Scripture references on the two topics. God’s wrath is mentioned more than 150 times; his mercy, 32 times. To be sure, it is right to declare God’s goodness. But it is a mistake to dismiss God’s justice. He is gracious to those who trust him, but he is serious about punishing those who dismiss him.