God is not cuddly

We so often allow ourselves to bring God down to a level we’re comfortable with, and try to make Him a God who we don’t have to fear. We try to make Him a cuddly God who we can pet and nuzzle like a little puppy; a God who would never do anything but wash our feet and heal our diseases. But God is NOT cuddly.

  • “Our God is a consuming fire” (, Deut. 4:24/9:3, Hebrew 12:29)
  • “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31, see also the OT & Revelation)
  • The people of Israel as God speaks from the mountain at Horeb: “…do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”
  • It could go on, and on, and on.

We do NOT serve a God of light, fluffy enjoyment. We serve a God whose majesty is so great and terrible that His voice alone is enough to make men tremble; whose holiness is such that being in His presence makes sinful men want to die or be crushed, just so that they might escape the pain of bringing evil before the burning purity of the King of Heaven!

God, save us from treating you with levity!

My friends, if we understood the holy terror of the king of heaven, it would change many things. Look at the unambiguous demand God makes for sole worship in this Isaiah passage. The very mountains of the earth, and beautiful creations that human hands have made will be utterly brought low in the presence of the ONLY God. He will suffer no contest to his majesty because there IS no contest to His majesty. It says that when the King comes, the very ground of the earth will be terrified; it repeats several times that men will be so utterly crushed by the weight of God’s terrifying majesty that they will run to hide in caves, mountains, ANYWHERE they can find. We serve a great, terrible, mighty, holy, wrathful, AWEsome God.

If we understood this, all the silliness of “Jesus is my Homeboy” and the self-centered USING of Christ for our own emotional feel good would be lost in the humble and amazed worship of who He is. Jesus is NOT your homeboy – He is the Lord of Hosts. Jesus is NOT “the big guy upstairs”. God is NOT a God you can trifle with, and He does NOT humor/turn a blind eye to our dishonoring His glorious name and frightful glory. When we treat God like our little buddy who we can joke around with and ignore when we want to and use to like a spiritual prozac we do precisely that. Read the passage. Understand the terrifying majesty of the King.

Isaiah 2:6-22

6 For you have rejected your people,
the house of Jacob,
because they are full of things from the east
and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines,
and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.
7 Their land is filled with silver and gold,
and there is no end to their treasures;
their land is filled with horses,
and there is no end to their chariots.
8 Their land is filled with idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their own fingers have made.
So man is humbled,
and each one is brought low—
do not forgive them!
10 Enter into the rock
and hide in the dust
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty.

11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,
and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

12 For the Lord of hosts has a day
against all that is proud and lofty,
against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low;
13 against all the cedars of Lebanon,
lofty and lifted up;
and against all the oaks of Bashan;
14 against all the lofty mountains,
and against all the uplifted hills;
15 against every high tower,
and against every fortified wall;
16 against all the ships of Tarshish,
and against all the beautiful craft.
17 And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,
and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
18 And the idols shall utterly pass away.
19 And people shall enter the caves of the rocks
and the holes of the ground,
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to terrify the earth.

20 In that day mankind will cast away
their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
which they made for themselves to worship,
to the moles and to the bats,
21 to enter the caverns of the rocks
and the clefts of the cliffs,
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to terrify the earth.
22 Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,

for of what account is he?

Perhaps now you’re saying something like my brother Peter Allen:

I whole-heartily agree with ya. One of my favorite attriburtes about God is his Just Wrath and his omniscient power. Our culture shows little reverence to him. But one of the things i struggle with is balancing that and understanding that God is our friend and that he did send Christ to serve us.

My response?:

Yep. And I think a right understanding of His frightful majesty only serves to make that fact [of Christ dying for us] MORE glorious. Here is the Lord of Hosts, the God of the angel armies, the high exalted warrior Messiah…

and He died for us!

Praise the name of Jesus! How can we even fathom that kind of mercy and grace!?


2 thoughts on “God is not cuddly

  1. I think the reason people think God is fluffy is three parted, and I will list them in descending order of importance:

    1. We think God is supposed to forgive us
    2. We convince ourselves that we really aren’t that bad, and that our sin isn’t a big deal.
    3. Churches tend to only examine the passages where God is very compassionate, loving, and forgiving, as opposed to a well rounded, Biblical understanding.

    • I think you’re precisely correct in all three of those. We, as the sinful people the Bible presents, rebel against the idea that God is completely holy and as our creator has every right to damn every one of us. Couple that with the rebellion against the very fact that we are sinful, and you get big problems.

      And to top it all, exactly what you said: a failure to preach the WHOLE counsel of God. Modern, postmodern thought has to terrified us into believing “political correctness” that we cringe at the idea of telling someone that he or she is sinful. This is a slight problem (to understate) because the Bible over and over tells us that very thing, is incredibly strong and terrifying terms.

      God help us.

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