Q. 9. Is not God unjust in requiring of man in his Law what he cannot do?
A. No, for God so created man that he could do it. But man, upon the instigation of the devil, by deliberate disobedience, has cheated himself and all his descendants out of these gifts.
Q. 10. Will God let man get by with such disobedience and defection?
A. Certainly not, for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven, both against our inborn sinfulness and our actual sins, and he will punish them according to his righteous judgment in time and in eternity, as he has declared: “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, and do them.”
Q. 11. But is not God also merciful?
A. God is indeed merciful and gracious, but he is also righteous. It is his righteousness which requires that sin committed against the supreme majesty of God be punished with extreme, that is, with eternal punishment of body and soul.
If God knew it was impossible for us to perfectly uphold His law, isn’t it unfair and even cruel of God to expect complete obedience from us?
The truth is, we were created good and able to uphold and fulfill God’s righteous law. Indeed, when God created man and woman, he looked and said, “It is good,” a pronouncement that was not given easily.
But through willful disobedience, we have been cheated, in fact we cheat ourselves, out of this pristine condition; this right relationship with God. We therefore experience the wrath and judgment of God, the just reward for our sinfulness and our sins.
Keep in mind, however, that the wrath of God is not separated from the mercy and love of God. It is precisely because God is loving and merciful that we experience his wrath. Were God unloving and unmerciful, He would have left us alone in our sins; he never would have spoken a harsh word of correction; He never would have called us to something better.
Almighty God, how I have fallen short of your will for my life, that I live in faith and obedience before you. Your word of rebuke and correction are hard to hear, but they remind me of your continued love and mercy. Strengthen me, by your Holy Spirit, to walk in your way of Holiness for your name’s sake.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.