10 My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
and a God who feels indignation every day.
12 If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword;
he has bent and readied his bow;
13 he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,
making his arrows fiery shafts.
In the most recent controversy through the Christian blogosphere, people have gone back and forth about whether or not God would actually send anyone to hell. Interestingly, the argument has very little to do with Scripture or the depiction of God in the Bible, instead focusing on each individual’s particular preference for what God might or might not do. But if we take a look at how God is revealed in the word, we will see something about God that is not often mentioned.
Looking at the verses above, we see two things very clearly. First, David, the psalmist, runs to God for rescue. He trusts the Lord. He knows God as the God who saves. This, of course, matches the modern picture well.
But then David speaks of God as, well, angry at sin. God has deadly weapons aimed at the hearts of those who refuse to repent. God will judge those who refuse to turn from their sin and to him.
Notice that the saving God and the judging God are the same God. There is no shift. This is not Old Testament and New Testament differences. There is no difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, he is only one God. God did not change. God has always been gracious and compassionate. God has always been wrathful, jealous for his own glory, and punishing sin.
How should we feel about what God does? Well, since God is perfect and we are not, we should understand that his love and his wrath are perfect. If God judges sin, then judging sin is perfect. If God saves a sinner by grace through faith in Christ, then doing so is perfect. We need to stop trying to judge the actions of God based on our opinions. God is perfect. We are crooked. We cannot measure the actions of God based on our preferences. He is always right. His ways are above and beyond us, holy in the truest sense of the word.