We know that God is love and we observe how Jesus walked the earth drawing people to himself and healing them. It doesn’t compute with us then when we read: “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.” (Romans 11:22)
Paul is reminding his readers of what happened to the Jews because of their unbelief, “that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in.” Verse 25) God’s severity lopped off those branches temporarily and it was unbelief that prompted his severity. Could unbelief activate it again?
Paul says YES and he tells us not to be arrogant about God’s kindness to us but to fear. In our modern age of grace we don’t often link fear (awesome sense of his power which humbles us) and severity to God anymore. We think in terms of “either” “or.” Either God is kind or God is severe. God is both and there is no contradiction in that.
By reading the book of the Revelation, we should have no illusions about the severity of God. A time will come of unleashing awesome judgments and cataclysmic events more severe than the world has yet known. The last few years of weather and war have been bad but as they say: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
Before all that happens, how wise to contemplate the fullness of God-both kindness and severity. Better that than any chance of you falling into unbelief and “you also will be cut off.”