The Character Of God
In Wendelin Van Draanen's book, Flipped, there is a quote concerning people. It says that some people get dipped in flat and some in satin or gloss but every once in awhile you meet someone who is iridescent and when you do you will never be the same.
God Is Iridescent
God's character can be seen as iridescent. There are many things about Him that we cannot understand. Like the iridescent color, we may be sure we see one trait and then when we are sure we can pinpoint it, it melts into another trait. The truth is that God's character is a perfect one.
God and Love
The most well known part of God's character is His love. How many times has it been established that He loves and that God is love? The fact that God loves and is love is used to describe His entire character in 1John 4:8.
God's love compared to man's love
God's love is perfect as He is perfect. His love is difficult to be understood, and it cannot be fully understood by man because man's love is not perfect. There is a saying that you are probably familiar with that says there is no love like a mother's love. Some people say that there is no love like a father's love. God's love is usually compared to the love a parent has for a child but truly this love does not even begin to match the love that God is capable of and has for His people because man is not capable of perfect love. Sin gets in the way. If man were capable of loving perfectly then this world would be a perfect place.
What Is Love?
If God is iridescent and God is love, then love would have to be iridescent as well wouldn't it?
Now we get to a difficult part. Love, as we know it, is an emotion. There are many other emotions as well. Hate is one, fear another, then there is joy, sorrow, anger, jealousy, and the list goes on and on. Some of these emotions exist because of sin and others exist but are imperfect as a result of sin. Perhaps this is why it is hard (or easier depending on the way you choose to look at it) to think of God's love as a different kind of love.
A.W. Pink's The Attributes of God
God and Hate
God's love is a love of perfection and because God loves, he also hates. Yes, God hates sin.
"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
Proverbs 6:16-19 K.J.V.
Hate is often referred to as a negative word. As a matter of fact people rarely use it when referring to their feelings concerning someone else because the majority of society finds the word to be offensive. It is easy to attach the word hate to broccoli or pickled onions but attaching the word hate to someone's action is not usually done. Dislike, aversion or distaste may be used but not hate.
Of course many are accused of hating but most deny they do.
The fact is that hate exists and there are many who hate. Indeed those who love usually hate.
How is God's hate different to man's hate?
Man is an imperfect being and so, though he hates, his hate is never completely justified whereas God, who never did sin, hates where hate is due.
God and Jealousy
Jealousy is another emotion that can be viewed as negative. When a person has a jealous nature it is a mark against him. The display of jealousy is generally not pretty and jealousy has been known to drive men to do some terrible things.
Yet God gets jealous. How is His jealousy good then?
I once heard someone remark that they couldn't understand how people could think that God could be jealous when jealousy is really a petty emotion. Actually jealousy is not a petty emotion. It is a very strong one indeed. The truth is that jealousy, like hatred, can completely take over a person and cause them to do things that they would never have done. Jealousy and hatred cannot be controlled by man because they become warped in man as sin dwells within each of us.
As stated before, God has no sin. He is able to be jealous and to act because of His jealousy in a right manner. God even calls Himself a jealous God attaching that quality to Himself in Exodus Chapter 20 verse 5. In Chapter 34 of the same book it says that His name is jealous.
What really happens when a person becomes jealous? What is the feeling they might feel? Basically they feel that the attention (whatever kind of attention it may be) that should be due to them is being paid to someone else. The truth is that man does not deserve any attention and so jealousy is not justified in man. It is justified in God because He is an Almighty God who deserves all attention.
The jealousy of the Lord is also mentioned in The Book of Deuteronomy, The Book of Joshua, 1 Kings, The Book of Psalms, The Book of Ezekiel, The Book of Joel, The Book of Nahum, The Book of Zephaniah, The Book of Zechariah, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians.
God and Anger
The wrath of God is not something most like to dwell on. As a matter of fact they'd rather not think of it at all. Anger is something that can get out of control and it is seen as a dreadful thing for someone driven with anger can cause terrible damage and there are bitter consequences when a person acts in anger. It is no wonder the Bible says to us to be careful and not to let the sun go down on our anger. So how come we can't be angry but God can be angry with the wicked everyday? (Psalm 7:10-12)
Again it boils down to God's goodness and the fact that there is no darkness in Him whatsoever. No emotion that God has can ever be wrong for His reasons for feeling them can not be looked at with two different sides as with man. When someone is angry isn't it the normal thing to say, "I can understand your side of the story."? And isn't there a saying that goes there are two sides to every story and one won't get the full story until one hears both sides? Concerning God, there is only one story because He does not lie. If therefore He is angry, then He is righteously angry.
Full of Compassion
Slow To Anger
Rich In Mercy
God and Wrath
God's anger can bring about His wrath as is evidenced in the Scripture. Since God is viewed as a loving God, many people refuse to believe that a loving God would be so angry as to judge people and release His wrath upon them. According to the Bible, if God believes they deserve it, then He does release His wrath.He has shown His wrath in the past and the Bible says that He will show His wrath in the future. His wrath is sometimes viewed as cruel because it is looked at through the tainted eyes of man but what most do not realize is His mercy often stays His wrath until He has to act as it is the right thing to do.
"And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless." Exodus 22:24 K.J.V.
"And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague." Numbers 11:33 K.J.V.
"The LORD hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof." Lamentations 2:2 K.J.V.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36 K.J.V.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." Romans 1:18-19 K.J.V.
"And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Revelation 6:16-17 K.J.V.
God and Mercy
God is a merciful God. It is His mercy which often keeps His wrath at bay. God's pity is a quality which we as men dearly need for He does have the right to be angry with us. It was the mercy of the Lord which caused us to have a Kinsman Redeemer.God shows mercy to those who love Him and those who keep His commandments. In the Book of Psalms it says that His mercy endureth forever and that is an assurance of eternity. God's mercy is often spoken of in connection to God's grace. He is able to be merciful because He can judge rightly. I have heard God's mercy used as an answer to God's wrath. In other words many ask how can God be full of mercy and have wrath. He cannot be both. But because of His wrath His mercy exists for He is the true and righteous Judge.
God and Grace
Grace is usually found in the sight of the Lord by those who follow Him. Grace is the favor of God. He uses it to impart His mercy and to bestow His love and kindness upon all the people of the earth. Without the grace of God the world would not turn, the stars would not twinkle and the sun would not shine. Without the grace of God, man would not have breath in his body. As a matter of fact, every waking moment that we spend on the earth is because of the grace of the Lord. God's grace is what holds everything in place. It was God's grace that caused the law to be fulfilled.The Bible states that He is generous with His grace (making generosity a part of His character as well) His grace is what sustains us all.
So God is love and because of that love (which is perfect) He hates, is jealous, gets angry, is provoked to wrath, shows mercy, and imparts grace. All of his actions are just but may not be understood. Just because they may not be understood does not mean that they should be denied. His character is good for He is good.
Caleb DRC has written a hub entitled, "Math Limits; Algebraic and L'Hopital's, and Black Holes:" In it he speaks about Math explaining some amazing things that it reveals and he gives glory to God and His character.
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