For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! (Ezek. 18:32)
Expanded Passage: Ezekiel 18:31-32
The Great Awakening of the eighteenth century was sparked, in part, by Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” His sermon compares the way in which God spares the sinner from hell to how “one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire.” God “abhors you,” Edwards’ message claimed.
In 1993, songwriter Steve Camp released a song entitled, “In the Hands of God.” The song is based on Jonathan Edwards’ sermon but presents a much different picture—one that relies on more of a New Testament perspective. The chorus reads:
But the hands of an angry God were pierced and bleeding
As he embraced all heaven’s wrath upon the cross.
And the hands of an angry God still reach out pleading,
For he came to seek and save that which was lost. (Camp, 1993)
While God is repulsed by sin, he does not take delight in the sinner’s suffering, even when it is the result of blatant rebellion. God is angry, not with people, but with the things that destroy people. Heaven’s war against sin is a fight to save the sinner from death.
God hates sin because he loves you. He wants you to choose life over destruction. He wants you to grasp tightly onto his hands—which once bled on your behalf—and never let go.
Receive God’s love and forgiveness today.
Laura Hurd is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and holds a master’s degree from Wesley Seminary. She copastors with her husband, Jason, in rural Nebraska.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.