Leviticus: a two-faced God?

Cover to Cover

Reading: Leviticus 26:1-27:34

Focus: Leviticus 26:1-46

When people ask you to describe a person, you generally gravitate to their pleasant and good characteristics, or if it’s someone you dislike, you generally gravitate to their more negative (in your opinion) characteristics. Rarely do people give a balanced perspective when they describe a person. The same goes for God, you often find that there are two extremes which people focus upon. The first, generally Christian, response focuses upon God’s grace and love; the second, generally non-Christian, response focuses upon God’s wrath and justice (injustice from most perspectives).

Yet, the Bible (as a whole) never paints the picture of God in such light. While different books have different emphasis, when seen as a whole, it’s hard to see God as merely one of grace and love or God as wrathful and unjust. God is nothing like that, rather we, people, who are His creation, share this trait of having personality and character. There are times when we are angry, yet times when we are calm. So why would anyone assume that God has a one-sided personality?

As you read through this chapter in Leviticus, you can’t help but get a picture that God, overall, seeks to be just. While He loves His people and seeks to bless them and make them prosper, He doesn’t allow it to get out of hand. Where His people do not live accordingly, in His justice, He punishes them and disciplines them. God is not so one-sided that He spoils His people and allows them to get away with their sins. Whether we like it or not, God doesn’t just open the door and allow us to walk all over the place with mud still on our shoes.

God is good, but He won’t spoil you stupid. God is loving, but don’t expect to walk over Him. God is gracious, but don’t expect to get by without a gentle tap of the rod. God is just, but He uses gentle words. God is righteous, but He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross so that you don’t have to suffer the penalty of death for your sins. If there’s anything one-sided about God, it’s His love for His creation and a desire for them to know the fullness of life.

Next Reading: Numbers 1:1-3:51