People love to put God in a box. To satisfy their own thinking or to support their side of an argument, they build a box, label it, put God in it, and shrinkwrap it.

One popular box is the “love” box. It’s the one people use when they want to think of God as a benevolent grandpa-type character who loves everybody so much He couldn’t possibly punish them. No matter what the sin they get involved in, these individuals suggest that God just smiles a big sunshiny smile and looks the other way. “My God loves people too much to punish them,” folks say as they close the box.

There is no box big enough to put God in. His characteristics are so wide-ranging that we cannot begin to fathom the totality of His being. Sure, He is a God of love, but as Isaiah 2 points out, He is also a God of terror: “The day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, . . . and it shall be brought low” (v.12). That’s not the action of a tolerant, anything-goes God.

Our job as God-followers is to know Him as completely as we can. We need to investigate His seemingly opposite characteristics and bow before Him—our glorious, almighty, and complex Lord.