There's this notion, this belief that God the Father is not as merciful as his Son, Jesus Christ. It's been said that God's punishments were harsh and that He had a short fuse in the Old Testament days. Some may believe God's decision to kill Nadab and Abihu with the same strange (unauthorized) fire they offered Him as extreme (Leviticus 10). Some have questioned God's justice when He struck Uzzah down and killed him for touching the ark (2 Samuel 6). Others questioned God's heart when He killed Onan for spilling his seed on the ground instead of impregnating Tamar (Genesis 38).
Admittedly, I have been in that number. I have previously questioned why God made what I considered harsh judgments. Yet, Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, and Onan were all either disobedient to God's command or they disregarded what was holy. If God and His commands would have been regarded as sacred in their eyes, they wouldn't have been destroyed.
Furthermore, recently, I listened to a few passages from the Old Testament, and I didn't see a vengeful God at all. In Gensis 3, after Adam and Eve ate what God prohibited, God could have destroyed them ... and He would have been justified to do so. But He didn't. Instead, look at what God did for them ...
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Genesis 3:21 NIV
Look at the graciousness of God. He made Adam and Eve clothes. After their blatant disregard to His command, He clothed them. That was mercy. In the very next chapter, more sin occurred. Adam and Eve's offspring, Cain and Abel, offerred sacrifices to God.
Abel's sacrifice was viewed as acceptable, while Cain's sacrifice was not. So, Cain killed his brother out of jealousy. It would have been just for God to kill Cain. But He didn't. In fact, after Cain murdered Abel, Cain begged God for mercy. He said God's punishment was too harsh. This was God's response:
Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
Genesis 4:13,15 NIV
And didn't Moses kill an Egyptian? Didn't King David commit adultery and murder? Didn't Noah become drunk? Didn't Jonah disobey God by running from His commands? Didn't Peter deny Jesus three times? Wasn't Paul a persecutor of the early believers?
Mankind has staggered from holiness and God's commands since the beginning of time. Disobedience runs parallel with the genesis of creation. Yet, from the beginning of time, all I see is mercy. All I see is a merciful God.
In every instance that we see disobedience or a disregard to God, justice would be destruction because of the disrespect. To do anything in opposition of our sacred creator is worthy of death and desolation. But God chose mercy.
It is written that Christ was chosen to die for our sins before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20). Therefore, before Adam and Eve sunk their teeth into the forbidden fruit, God chose mercy. The salvation plan was on God's mind before He even created mankind.
All I see is mercy.
God's plan was mercy, is mercy, and will always be mercy.
When we read about what happened to people like Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, and Onan, we need to understand that justice was served. And when we read about people like Moses, David, Peter, and Paul, we need to understand that mercy was served. Can't you see that God is far more merciful than he is wrathful?
I cannot say why God chooses to spare the likes of some people for their disobedience, while choosing to destroy others for theirs. That is God's decision. God said in Exodus 33:19,"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." God is God and will do as He pleases, and whatever He pleases to do is good and right.
And from what I see, God usually chooses to have mercy. Imagine your creations whom you created from dirt, your creations that you breathed life into, the ones that you give everything up for ... including your own Son ... disobeying and disrespecting you. Obliteration is what anyone who sins against our holy creator deserves.
But because we have a loving God who kept our soul salvation in mind before He even created us, we are shown mercy. And that mercy extends from everlasting to everlasting. Praise God that you and I see mercy and have this mercy every day of our lives. It is something that, although we aren't deserving of it, is given to us in immeasurable amounts.
From Genesis to Revelation, all I see is mercy. From the beginning of my life until this present moment, all I see is mercy. Upon reflection of your life and the lives of those around you, I am sure all you see is mercy. Take today to view and thank God for who He is ... and that is and will always be a holy, loving, overtly merciful God.
That's all I have for you today. Be blessed and take care.
Quin Arrington is a wife, mother of two children, and author of three books. Her literary collection includes both fictional and nonfictional works. Books can be purchased at the link listed below. Thank you for time and attention. God bless!