Is Yahweh Your God?
Coffee With God: 3/8/2023 | Deuteronomy 32:39-42
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.”
The God of the Bible is a lot different than most people care to imagine. Since the days of Marcion, people have been trying to explain what appears to be a vast difference between the two pictures of God we see in the Bible. On one hand, God blesses, heals, and gives life. On the other, he curses, wounds, and smites.
Some, like Marcion, say that these two pictures are two different Gods altogether. Others say that Jesus fundamentally changed the way God relates to the world (unfortunately, this view chooses to neglect much of what we read in the New Testament). Others go as far as to chalk up passages like Deuteronomy 32:39-42 to people’s “misunderstanding” of God during the time when Deuteronomy was written. (This is not unlike Marcionism in that it simply discredits the parts of the Bible that don’t allow us to fit God into our tidy little theological boxes).
But none of these are the case. The God of the Bible is many things, but most of all, he is the ruler and king of all the earth (see Psalm 47). Throughout the Bible, he is consistent. He is a God who blesses and curses; he is a god who wounds and who heals; he is a God who loves and who hates.
“But wait,” some say, “the Bible says that God is love.” He is. Perfect love. And perfect love would be neither perfect nor loving if it did not hate sin, evil, and injustice.
What we need to understand above all else is that God is righteous; his ways are perfect and holy. Even in a world corrupted and ravaged by sin, he truly has our best interest in mind. He proves this by offering us a life – it is coming one day in the future – that will last forever, uncorrupted by sin, death, and evil.
If you’re a Christian who has never taken the time to embrace every part of who God is – including the fact that he smites, strikes, judges, and chastens, all in an effort to move humanity through its redemptive course while saving as many as possible – I invite you to praise him here and now. Remember this: God is dealing with all of the corruption that sin brought into our world now so that you can enjoy a perfect, restored creation for eternity. Will you trust him, and the sanctifying work he is doing in the world, even when it means that you must endure momentary discomfort?
 Marcion was a second-century theologian who believed that the “vengeful” God of the Old Testament was a completely distinct and separate God from the one who sent Jesus Christ into the world (the God of the New Testament).