Saturday, 29 May 2010

The need to be holistic

A while ago I mentioned how David Blevins had being learning about the need for balance.  He shared this at the Irish Bible Institute and a lecturer suggested that a better word might be ‘holistic’.  We need to take a holistic view on many issues.

One area where we need to be holistic is in remembering both God’s holiness and compassion.  There are a series of verses that remind us that God will punish those who refuse his offer of mercy and yet he grieves over the punishment of creatures created in his own image. Carson calls this a ‘dual track’ approach.

God brings judgement upon Moab but also laments. ‘… I wail over Moab, for all Moab I cry out, I moan for the men of Kir Hareseth’ (Jer. 48:31, NIV).
Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live (Ezek. 18:23, NIV).
Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live … (Ezek. 33:11, NIV)
‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing’ (Matthew 23:37, NIV)

Commenting on Jeremiah 48:36 the ESV Study Bible says: ‘Though God in his justice brings righteous judgement against sinners and takes delight in the purity and holiness of his judgement, he also feels sorrow at the destruction that the judgement brings upon human beings created in his image.’

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