By No Means
I’m so thankful that the One True God not only extends love to us, but according to I John 4:8, He is love. Yet what does that mean? He embodies and radiates it. It is His nature to be loving and this quality is expressed in everyone single one of His attributes.
He is our Heavenly Father so He "...disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." (Heb 12:6 ESV) But He even loves those who are not His children. Second Peter 3:9 reminds us, The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV) But when we don’t, there are consequences.
Nahum is a prophetical book near the end of the Old Testament. It’s not one we often hear quoted or that pastors regularly preach from. Yet chapter 1 verse 3 paints a definitive and accurate picture of God: The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. (ESV) I like the wording of this truth, which is found many other places in the Scriptures: by no means. Not because of our good deeds. Not because we try really hard. Not because we go to church, read our Bibles, or pray. Not because we are generous with our time and finances. He will by no means clear the guilty. So our only hope is to not be guilty. But how is that possible? Only in Christ.
It was foretold in the Old Testament: Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity…. (Ps 32:1-2 ESV) Then the Messiah, dramatically and with finality, accomplished it. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Col 2:13-14 NIV)
Our righteous and just God can by no means clear the guilty. So He sent Jesus Who offers us the only thing that can make us innocent: salvation.
Just something I will never cease to be thankful for along the way.