I have been working through the books of Psalms and Proverbs for a little over six months now. I originally started this venture as a Bible reading plan, but it quickly morphed into something else entirely.
So often, we believers read the Bible for our own gain. We seek peace, comfort, joy, and wisdom in its pages. We look for what we want and when we find it, we lay down the sacred tome and move on. I started to wonder what reading the Bible might look like if I stopped reading it to see what it says about me, and started reading it to see what it says about God. Every time a verse revealed an attribute of God, I wrote it down in the margin of the page. And you know what I found? God is not just love.
I have heard my entire life, and still hear, that God is love. Well, He is. In a way. But thinking He is ONLY love makes Him small. Makes Him soft. God is not just love. He is Majesty. He is Righteous. He shows wrath and anger and pain. His heart is moved by the actions of His people. He is the Ruler. He is Almighty. He is the Judge. He speaks and He guides and He calls out wrongdoing. He aches over His children. He is Shepherd. He is just. He is honest. He is glorified and praiseworthy. He is wise. He is holy.
In a way, the pressure of finding my comfort and my joy was off in this design of reading. I was not reading to find out about myself. I was reading to find out about this God I profess to serve. He is much much more than love. Seeing His character piecemeal will not do. We are loved, yes, but we are also justly judged by His righteousness and His holiness. By that measure, none of us measures up. Thank God that not only is He our judge, He also provides our atoning sacrifice. The fullness of the character of God brought low so that we might know Him. That right there…that is love. Love so big and so deep and so wide that it cannot be contained by just love itself….