Behold therefore, the goodness and severity of God… Romans 11:22

   In 1980, while Mount St. Helens in Washington State was being monitored for a possible eruption, a team of loggers was at work in the forest below the mountain. The crew’s leader suddenly decided to move them to another location, even though they had not finished working that area, which was a breach in their logging protocol. She actually moved them to a spot closer to the mountain, but on the opposite side. The crew thought it was strange at the time, but they obeyed her direction. She remarked later in an interview that she really didn’t know why she moved them.

Shortly afterward, Mount St. Helens erupted blowing out one entire side of the mountain, leaving the opposite side intact and unharmed. Rocks, ash and lava were blasted out at tremendous force obliterating the forest below. If the loggers had not moved, they all would have been killed. Their crew leader had relocated them to the side of the mountain that was not destroyed.

I can picture that mountain exploding in wrath on one side, while the other side remained calm and protected.

The apostles understood the nature of God, His mercy, love and willingness to forgive all those who repent of their sins and turn to Him. At the same time, they recognized that there is another side to Him, one that must exercise His righteous judgment on the wicked and rebellious. We need to view Him as that mountain and be willing to move to that place of safety and protection in Him that will be spared from His judgment.

His sheep nestle in the gentle care of their Savior Jesus, their souls sheltered and protected for eternity through their faith in the Messiah’s death and resurrection; God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. They rest on the safe side of the mountain, while those below who have refused to be moved to that place of safety have only themselves to blame, when they are consumed by their Creator’s righteous judgments.

Behold the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness: otherwise you also shall be cut off. - Romans 11:22

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. - John 3:17

Copyright 2018 by H. D. Shively

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