God's Wrath for the Disobedient

June 8th, 2011

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READ: Ephesians 5:6-20

Can God visit your dark corners?

The theme in today’s reading of light and darkness is particularly powerful at the moment, I think. So many things have been going on in the world “in darkness” and have come to light in ways that have threatened the security of our nations. I am, of course, speaking about the crisis in the financial markets. It is an example of what I call “the ethics of discovery”; that is, “it’s alright to be doing what you’re doing as long as nobody finds out.” However, if someone does find out, well, we are so very sorry and ashamed. When we are presented with the spectacle of people apologizing for their actions (only because they have been found out!), we cannot help but ask, “If you knew it was wrong, why did you do it in the first place?” With this in mind, the apologies ring somewhat falsely. This is what it means to live in darkness.

Now, about living in the light. Think of the human being like a house. We have certain rooms that we always like to keep presentable in case someone calls. This is the face we present to the world. However, we also have some place or other that doesn’t bear too much inspection! This is the place that we like to hide away, or pretend that it doesn’t belong to us. Living in the light means that there is no part of the house that we are unwilling for others to visit. God knows us inside and out. Nothing is hidden from God. Yet, still, God loves us. As we open up our lives more and more to the work of the Holy Spirit, it is as if windows are thrown open, doors unlocked–our “house” becomes a place filled with the presence of God as it has always been meant to be. This process will often be quite painful and will demand a great deal of patience with ourselves and trust in God. The Fall means that we are more inclined to bang doors shut on God than open them. It is the way we “work out” our salvation (Philippians 2:12).

However, here’s the good news. God will not leave any door locked on the last day. If we have spent our whole lives letting God in, then by the mercies of Christ, it will go better for us than for those who have persisted in living in darkness. They, too, will have their doors opened whether they will or no and their “rooms” explored by the searing light of God’s holiness.

Prayer: Most Holy God, temper the light of your presence to my frail nature. Through your Son, help me to make my life your home and throne. Amen.

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