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Volume 27 - Page 43 of 212 Index | Zoom | |
God, the moral Governor.
pp. 108 - 111
In our last paper we arrived at the conclusion, drawn from the evidence of design and
purpose in creation, that "God is", and that ignorance of this basic fact is inexcusable.
Most of our readers probably realized, when we quoted from Heb. 11: 6, that we stopped
short of its conclusion. We take up the matter now, and give the complete quotation:
"He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11: 6).
The connection between God's existence and God's moral governorship is
evidently fundamental, and it is this question that we are to consider in the present paper.
"He is . . . . . He is a Rewarder."
We must not allow ourselves to be side-tracked at this point into an argument
concerning "law" and "grace". Reward in the sense of Rom. 4: 4 can have no place in
the scheme of salvation by grace. This, however, is but one aspect of the subject. The
intimate association between "reward" and moral government is set forth, for example, in
the two following passages in the Apocalypse:
"And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that
they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the
prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy Name, small and great: and shouldest
destroy them which destroy the earth" (Rev. 11: 18).
"Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as
his work shall be" (Rev. 22: 12).
In the general use of the word to-day, "reward" is often placed over against
"punishment", but this does not convey the full truth. "Reward" in the full sense of the
word includes "punishment". We find, for instance, the following passage in a writer as
late as 1874: "Hanging was the reward of treason and desertion."
And in II Sam. 3: we read: "The Lord shall reward the doer of evil according to his
wickedness" (II Sam. 3: 39).
It is, therefore, clear that the term "reward" must not be used merely as an antonym
for "punishment", but rather as conveying the idea of an "award" of impartial justice.
The word "recompense" is used in the same way:
"Behold, your God shall come with vengeance, even God with a recompense"
(Isa. 35: 4, see also Isa. 59: 18; 66: 6).
"Reward", "recompense", "punishment", are terms that are meaningless apart from
moral government. The initial requirement of faith is to believe that God is, and flowing