A Lion in the Zoo
People today have pretty well been innoculated to the idea of God's wrath just as they have been lulled into a sense of security with lions in a zoo. We are able to walk within just a few feet of one of the most dangerous animals on the planet. An animal that would be able to slay and devour even the greatest of men. Yet we have no fear because we know that there is some sort of protective barrier keeping us from being lunch as opposed to being a visitor. The problem with seeing God's wrath in this way is this: there is no real protective barrier. The only real barrier we have is the restraint of God, but we take our comfort in the imaginary barriers we put in place. We imagine that the lion has no claws or teeth, therefore he cannot harm us. We imagine that the lion is as tame as a housecat, therefore he has no will to harm us. Yet it is incredibly dangerous to see God in this way. Jonathan Edwards spoke to this in his sermon Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God:
The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the
string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow,
and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry
God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one
moment from being made drunk with your blood.