“The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.” vs. 20
Those of us who love the idea of universal salvation and who bask in the good news that God has compassion for all tend to skip over the portions of scripture that describe God’s destruction of the wicked. We don’t like the passages about hellfire and damnation and ridicule preachers who make that a part of their message. The problem is that such verses pop up all the way through the bible, and not just in the Old Testament. How can we reconcile these contrary perspectives? How can God have compassion for all and still promise to destroy all the wicked? The solution is to believe both at the same time and not even attempt reconciliation. We don’t have to fit divine truth into some sort of neat theological system where all loose ends are tied up and everything makes sense. It is true that God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love for all. We can bank on that! But it is also true that wickedness is repugnant to God and will be destroyed. We can count on that too! Together these two truths offer direction as we make our way in this confusing world. Yes, we are called to love our enemies as God has loved us. Yes, we are rightly appalled and offended by the vile and ugly desires and deeds we see revealed in ourselves and others. And finally, yes, it is good news that one day all wickedness will be destroyed!
Thought for the Day: Can I love God and be wicked at the same time?