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A Balanced View of God 

Having a balanced view of God will change your life

Romans 11.22

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 10, In the year of our Lord, 2013


  1. Is our Creator a God of love or a God of wrath? 
    1. The proper answer is Yes.
    2. Please do not let people who have presented an unbalanced picture of God,
      1. drive you to the opposite view.
      2. If you have heard that He is only a God of love and not wrath, but
        1. you read in the Bible of His wrath,
        2. do not let that drive you to reject that He is a God of love.
      3. If you have heard that He is only a God of wrath and not love, but
        1. you read in the Bible of His love,
        2. do not let that drive you to reject that He is a God of wrath.
    3. The Bible presents Him as both a God of love and wrath, or
      1. as Paul expressed it in Romans 11,
      2. He is a God of goodness and a God of severity.
  2. To get a clear view of God, and 
    1. any Bible subject,
    2. follow the direction of these passages,

      160 The entirety of Your word is truth,
      And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
      (Psa 119.160)

      27 “I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20.27).

      7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God’” (Matt 4.7).

      1. If you only take part of God’s teaching on a subject,
      2. you will pervert the truth, and
        1. it will affect how you live…
        2. guaranteed!
  3. The Day rapidly approaches when all of us shall meet God, and 
    1. you can prepare for that meeting
    2. by knowing ahead of time His nature,
      1. which will then lead you to do the right thing,
      2. to so live as to receive His goodness on that day, not His severity.


  1. Romans 11.11–24 – A Balanced View of God 
    1. In Romans 11.11–19, Paul explained how the Jews rejecting the Gospel
      1. brought it to the Gentiles.
      2. However, we should not claim that God rejected them to accept us.
    2. Then the apostle spoke this warning,

      20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either (Rom 11.20, 21).

      1. Let us fear, because
        1. the Lord can remove us
        2. as easily as He removed the Jews.
      2. If the Lord did not spare the natural branches, the Jews,
        1. He certainly will not spare us
        2. who by nature are wild branches.
    3. That truth led Paul to present the full picture of God,

      22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (Rom 11.22, 23).

      1. Paul made an awesome declaration of God’s nature,
        1. telling us to consider both the goodness and severity of God,
        2. revealing how God in this context
          1. was severe toward those who fell, but
          2. good toward those who believe.
            1. If someone continues in unbelief,
            2. God cuts him off, but
              1. if someone continues in belief,
              2. He accepts him.
      2. God’s goodness and severity fill Scripture, including the Book of Numbers.
  2. The Goodness of God in the Book of Numbers 
    1. 9.15–23 – Leadership
      1. God led Israel through the wilderness to their new home
      2. by means of a cloud during the day, and a fire by night.
    2. 11.6–9 – Manna
      1. Everyday He provided their food
      2. by dropping manna out of the sky.
    3. 11.31–35 – Quail
      1. When they wanted meat,
      2. He gave much more than they could eat.
    4. 20.1–13 – Water
      1. When they needed water,
      2. He instructed Moses where to go and what to do to give them water.
    5. 21.1–3 – Victory
      1. When the Canaanites attacked the Israelites during their journey,
      2. He helped Isarel defeat them.
    6. 21.4–9 – Healing
      1. When fiery serpents bit them,
      2. He healed them when they confessed their sin.
    7. 21.21–35 – Conquest
      1. When the Amorites and Bashan attacked Israel,
      2. He told them not to fear, and He would defeat their enemies.
    8. 31.1–24 – Victory
      1. The Midianites did not learn from the others and attacked Israel, but
      2. you guessed it, the Lord helped Israel to defeat Midian.
    9. 31.25–54 – Plunder
      1. After defeating their enemies,
      2. He gave them the plunder.
    10. 35.9–34 – Refuge
      1. He promised that once they entered the Land of Canaan,
      2. He would give them cities of refuge for unintentional killing.
  3. The Severity of God in the Book of Numbers 
    1. 11.1–3 – Fire
      1. The children of Israel complained, and
      2. the Lord sent a fire among them to consume some of them.
    2. 11.31–35 – Plague
      1. When they complained about the lack of meat, and then
        1. ate without recognizing their complaining and
        2. confessing their sin,
      2. the Lord struck them with a plague.
    3. 12.1–16 – Leprosy
      1. Aaron and Miriam questioned the authority of Moses, and
      2. the Lord struck her with leprosy.
    4. 14.26–38 – Death
      1. When the ten spies gave a bad report of the Land of Canaan,
      2. the Lord took their lives.
    5. 14.40–45 – Defeat
      1. When they decided to take the Land of Canaan, after forbidding it,
      2. He let Amalekites and Canaanites defeat Israel.
    6. 15.32–36 – Stoning
      1. The Lord laid out clearly the Law of the Sabbath, so
      2. when someone broke it, He ordered the stoning of that man.
    7. 16.1–50 – Death
      1. Korah and his followers rebelled against the leadership of Moses, and
      2. the Earth opened its mouth and swallowed them.
    8. 20.12 – Forbidden
      1. Moses disobeyed the Lord when He said to speak to the rock, and
      2. so the Lord kept Moses from entering the Land of Canaan.
    9. 21.4–9 – Serpents
      1. The people complained again, and
      2. the Lord sent fiery serpents among them to bite them with a deadly bite.
    10. 25.1–5 – Hanging
      1. Israel participated in the idol worship of the god of the Moabites, and
      2. the Lord had Moses hang the leaders of this rebellion.
  4. The Goodness and Severity of Laws 
    1. Some people read this material and
      1. they scoff, because
      2. they do not understand spiritual laws, whereas they
    2. know that natural laws are both good and severe.
      1. Gravity enables us to live on this planet, but
        1. it can also kill us.
      2. Water makes life possible, but
        1. it can also kill us.
      3. Fire adds innumerable benefits, but
        1. you know the damage it can do.
    3. Likewise, the laws of the spirit are both good and severe.
      1. Use them for their intended purposes,
        1. live abundantly.
      2. Violate them,
        1. suffer for it.
    4. To most people, the laws of the spirit are subjective and
      1. could be and
      2. should be
        1. changed at a whim, but then
        2. they would not be laws.
    5. Galatians 6 provides an example of a law of the spirit, and
      1. how proper use of it benefits us beyond imagination, but
      2. violation of it hurts,
        1. both now and
        2. for eternity,

          7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Gal 6.7).

          1. Paul had to warn us about not being deceived, because
          2. people will try to persuade us
            1. that we will not experience God’s severity
            2. for violating His laws, but
            3. that we will only experience His goodness.
      3. Then Paul laid out the truth,

        8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life (Gal 6.8).

        1. God’s severity causes us to reap deterioration,
          1. if we sow to the flesh.
        2. God’s goodness gives us everlasting life,
          1. if we sow to the Spirit.
      4. That being the case, Paul writes to show how we can reap the good stuff,

        9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal 6.9, 10).


  1. Wendell Winkler said,

    “God is as severe as he is good; and, God is as good as he is severe” (The Living Messages of the Books of the Old Testament, p. 63).

    1. Do not doubt His goodness.
    2. Do not deny His severity.
  2. Today, I have set before you the goodness and severity of God, 
    1. as the Book of Numbers reveals
    2. both of those characteristics of our God.
  3. Why does the Book of Numbers reveal God’s goodness and severity? 
    1. God reveals in the Scriptures
      1. that He wants to show His goodness, but
      2. if He has to show His severity, He will show it.
    2. I believe that Isaiah 27 shows something about our God
      1. that we see in the Book of Numbers, Romans 11, and throughout the Bible.
      2. This passage shows the heart of God for His vineyard, whether
        1. of ancient natural Israel, or
        2. of modern Israel in the Spirit, the church,

          3 I, the Lord, keep it,
          I water it every moment;
          Lest any hurt it,
          I keep it night and day.
          4 Fury is not in Me.
          Who would set briers and thorns
          Against Me in battle?
          I would go through them,
          I would burn them together.
          5 Or let him take hold of My strength,
          That he may make peace with Me;
          And he shall make peace with Me.”
          (Isa 27.3–5)

  4. God takes care of His vineyard, representing His people, but 
    1. while He does not want to show fury to anyone hurting His vineyard,
    2. He will show it, battling His enemies.
      1. However, He wants to show His compassion
      2. when someone takes hold of His peace, and then
        1. He will do, or rather has already done,
        2. what needs to be done to have peace with Him.
  5. God wants peace with you, but 
    1. if you remain in sin,
    2. you continue at war against Him.
      1. From what we saw in Romans 11, the Book of Numbers, and Isaiah 27,
      2. I do not recommend that you war against God.
        1. He reaches down to you with His Son Jesus Christ
        2. that you might take hold of His strength.
          1. Nothing will make God happier
          2. than to see you following His Son Jesus as one of His disciples.
  6. End the war against God and find peace. 
    1. If you accept that Jesus of Nazareth
    2. is the Son of God, and your Savior,
      1. He will teach you how to repent, and
      2. He will cause you to be born again when you are baptized in water.