There are some “wild-eyed” preachers who seem to be very glad to preach about God’s wrath, as if God’s some crazed, happy deity zapping sinners left and right. In fact, you almost sense a jealousy that their pastoral x-men power is NOT shooting lightning bolts to zap sinners themselves.
I’m studying Leviticus 20, which speaks a lot about the death penalty for sin in view of God’s holiness. However, if we can see past the lightning bolts and read what is sinful about these sins, we’ll get closer to understanding the text. God continues to declare, “I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD.” His passion for His glory is through His people. He wants to be glorified in the lives of His people. He’s no eg0-maniac. He IS God! Let that sink in. What good is there apart from Him? What good is there GREATER than Him?
This chapter speaks about the consequence of having other lovers besides God: gods, family, worldly pursuits. We were created by God to magnify who He is. Our sins reflect that we are sinners – those who do not live magnifying God. In fact, when we are graciously and sovereignly saved by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we are resurrected to be God-magnifiers. We are saved for less of a reason than this.
God’s holy character demands holiness in His people. While we so often view this as hell, fire, and brimstone or just a checklist of “don’ts”, if we did so we’d miss the point altogether. There is no greater experience than living out the truth of Scripture in delighting in God, treasuring His Son. Truthfully, we see this in Christ, right? All of the wrath of Leviticus 20 is poured on the head of Christ on behalf (instead) of His people. He took God’s wrath IN MY PLACE. Why? So that I would be freed to delight in Him. While the world is screaming for entitlement to delight in anything they say is okay, God says that we are made to delight in Him, the most delightful one on (or off) the planet.