The Ferocious Love Of God
Imagine hiking in the high country of Alaska. After a little while, you walk around a bend in the trail to find two cute grizzly bear cubs ambling up the path. If you did not immediately turn around, the next thing you would see is a very large, very vicious Mamma bear coming at full speed to tear you to pieces. She would show you no mercy, and would do everything in her power to kill you. Not because she has any particular hatred for you, but because she has a deep instinctual love for her cubs.
When trying to reconcile the ferocity of God’s rage against our enemies with the fierce love that brought Him to the cross, it is helpful to consider the word “yes.”
To say “yes” to one thing is, by its very nature, saying “no” to something else. The more emphatic and passionately one commits to “yes,” the more emphatic and passionately one says “no” to something else. When a man says “yes” to one woman in marriage, he is irreconcilably saying “no” to all other women.
Genuine love has, in its heart, the capacity for fierce anger. Someone who has little love for his family will do little to protect them. His hatred for their enemies is directly proportional to his love for them. A man who deeply loves his family will passionately, at great cost to himself, defend them from everything and every one who would hurt them. The more his heart is invested, the less tolerant he is of anything that threatens those he loves.
In Zephaniah, Yahweh declares proudly, “See how I have destroyed your enemies. I have torn the evil, the indifferent and the faithless from amongst you. Then I destroyed the very people who I used to get them out of the way. I am mighty to save you and we will be together forever. No one will be allowed to come between us or draw you away from me. I will rejoice over you with joy and with singing.”
No other response than the total destruction of our enemies is good enough for the LORD. He has fallen in love with us, betrothed Himself to us, and declared that one day we will know Him as well as He knows us. We will know the number of hairs on His head..
CS Lewis wrote that God is going to give us the cure. No matter what the cost to Him, no matter what the cost to us. While the cross is the cure to all those who repent, the Rock will grind to powder all who don’t. Not because God takes pleasure in the death of the wicked, but because God takes pleasure in us. Not because He is unable to make up His mind whether He is a merciful or angry God, but because Yahweh is unswerving in His intention to deliver His people from this vile world and live with us in a world without, pain, without tears and without death. A world in which we can confidently say, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”