Power Vs. Love

The power of God creation shows,

His wisdom Nature doth disclose,

But by the Atonement He has shown

His love, which else had been unknown.

When chaos reigned in ceaseless night

His voice was heard: “Let there be light!”

And light without sun, moon, or star,

Outshone and chased the darkness far!

His hand with beauty decked the scene

Which void and shapeless erst had been!

He breathed on Adam’s cold, clay frame,

And man a living soul became!

Was power exhausted as He stood

And, viewing all, pronounced it good?

Or was His wisdom at an end

When Nature’s laws He made to blend,

And caused the worlds through pathless space

Harmoniously to run their race?

And, though in these in vast degree

His wisdom and His power we see,

They are but glimmers, faint and dim –

All power and wisdom are in Him –

But more His love could not have done

Than yielded up His only Son.

William Blane – from The Atonement

I was speaking with a brother at the chapel today, and we began a discussion about the uniqueness of Christianity. Specifically, the conversation centered upon God’s power in comparison with His love. In our limited view of the world, we talked about how it seems that people of other faiths may reject the message of the Gospel due to a certain misunderstanding: that God somehow conceded to diminish His power when He displayed His love.

To put it in further terms, it seems that many in the world are of the opinion that the Gospel message of God allowing His Son to die on the cross for the sins of the world necessitates that any thinking person should reject the message on the following grounds: God cannot be God if He would allow His own Son to be subjected to such abuse. The suggestion of weakness on God’s part seems to create a problem in the minds of those who doubt the Gospel’s credibility.

Fascination with absolute power may be the culprit here. Maybe our minds have difficulty reconciling the existence of power and love in one person. We ordinarily characterize people by either their strength or by their tenderness, but not a combination of the two. Our three-pound brains try to recompute when we are faced with the possibility that God holds absolute power, and that He is Love itself. “How do these two fit in the same person?” we ask.

So, we conclude that some folks struggle with the thoughts mentioned above. The poem at the head of the post presents a beautiful thought that is worth considering. I am in awe of this thought that His wisdom and power were not exhausted by the creation; that He created all according to His ability, and not out of His ability. We cannot view God as one who has all His power stored in a bank of some sort, and that when He has need of it, He must make a withdrawal; nor should we assume that each withdrawal reduces His power. He is eternally omnipotent!

His Love is contrasted with His power in this way: although He could endlessly display His power to us in a myriad of ways, His love shown to us at the cross is the grand pinnacle of all pinnacles. There is no higher expression of love than what we see in this Man left alone to die for our sins. There is nothing more for God to say on the matter. He pulled out all the stops, so to speak.

May God bless you as you consider the One who loved you to death.

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