“O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem…” – Daniel 9:16
In light of God’s justice and righteousness in the Old Testament, how he poured out his wrath on the nations surrounding Israel and even on Israel herself, this verse is such a radical, seemingly contradictory statement. If you simply do a surface-level study of what justice and righteousness actually means in theological terms, and particularly what it means for us sinners, it is goosebump-frightening to consider its reality. It should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Seriously.
Think back to, or look up, Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1 and John’s response in Revelation to see what the reaction to God’s justice and holiness looks like. Or read this Jonathan Edwards sermon. It was one of His most famous. In it, Edwards expounds upon the awful wrath and fury of God we all deserve for our sin and how Christ is the only protector and shield from its horrors.