The Difference A Word Makes

I was reading Daniel chapter 9 in the KJV when I would flew out at me, DREADFUL.   Daniel 9:4 “And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and dreadful God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments.”  Why would Daniel call God dreadful?  This put me aback for a little bit and caused me to wonder.  I looked up dreadful in the dictionary and it listed “causing or involving great suffering fear or unhappiness, extremely bad or serious.”  What?  Seriously?  So I looked up a few other versions and the word “dreadful” and in its place is “awesome”.  According to a few commentaries that I looked at dreadful in Hebrew can also mean venerated or to be given respect or one that is due respect.  Whew!  That makes sense to me. 

In Daniel 9, Daniel is praying to God to save his people.  He is pleading to God to be merciful to them even though they have not been good and faithful.  But, in this instance, you could actually interchange dreadful with merciful and still have the same meaning.  Why, because in the “awesomeness” of God he is asking for Him to show mercy, to be merciful to his people.

Daniel realizes that even though God is a good and loving God and his true wish is to love his people, he is not above punishing his people and bringing down his wrath.  Look at the great flood.  He punished all of mankind for his wickedness.  We are told in John 3:36 that “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”  Romans 5:9 “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”  Here are to examples of us being told that even though God is loving, he also will not hold back from punishing us, just as any good Father would do. 

God is Love.  He doesn’t punish us because he hates us or doesn’t like us, he does it as a matter of correction.  To bring us back to where we need to be.

John 4:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

God loves us and when we make mistakes He will show us mercy, if we ask, for He is a great and awesome God.

Have a Blessed Day

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