Ummmmm, no. 

Over this series, we’ve been talking about promises, hope, and God’s faithfulness. 

Holding onto the idea that hope comes from remembering promises! 

Often times humanity misunderstands God because we think God was jealous, angry, and vengeful prior to Jesus. 

We can thank Jonathan Edwards largely for that idea. Ever heard the phrase, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God?” That’s where it came from! 

Check this out . . . 

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Godis a sermon written by the American theologian Jonathan Edwards, who preached to his own congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts, and which met enormous reception. So much so that he preached the same sermon again to a completely different group of people in Enfield, Connecticut; these folks seemed unaffected by a fear of Hell, so he set out on a mission to convince them otherwise.

This sermon ultimately became the catalyst for the First Great Awakening, emphasizing God‘s wrath upon unbelievers after death to a very real, horrific, and fiery Hell.

 Like Edwards’ other works, it combines vivid imagery of Hell with observations of the world and citations of Biblical scripture. It is Edwards’ most famous written work and a fitting representation of his preaching style. It is widely studied by Christians and historians, providing a glimpse into the theology of the First Great Awakening of c. 1730–1755.

The underlying point is that God has given humans a chance to confess their sins. It is the mere will of God, according to Edwards, that keeps wicked men from being overtaken by the devil and his demons and cast into the furnace of Hell – “like greedy hungry lions, that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back [by God’s hand].” Mankind’s own attempts to avoid falling into the “bottomless gulf” due to the overwhelming “weight and pressure towards hell” are insufficient as “a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock”. This act of grace from God has given humans a chance to believe and trust in Christ. Edwards provides much varied and vivid imagery to illustrate this main theme throughout.

This fed folks’ fears about God, death, and eternity. They latched onto it, and it still drives many theological ideas today. 

We understand God very differently. 

We see God as a God of grace, love, hope, and forgiveness. 

God didn’t magically become a god of forgiveness when Jesus came on the scene. God always offered forgiveness and grace to humanity. 

I invite you to read Psalm 130, one of the “journey songs” Israelites sang as they journeyed to Jerusalem for Passover. God’s faithful love and great redemption were a source of joy for them. It is still one reason we light the candle of joy every year during Advent. 

 Psalm 130:

1-2 Help, God—I’ve hit rock bottom!
    Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
    Listen to my cries for mercy.


If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
    who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
    and that’s why you’re worshiped.


I pray to God—my life a prayer—
    and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
    waiting and watching till morning,
    waiting and watching till morning.


O Israel, wait and watch for God
    with God’s arrival comes love,
    with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it—he’ll redeem Israel,
    buy back Israel from captivity to sin.