"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate Him, by destroying them." -Deut. 7:9-10
Those last words are harsh and unforgiving. Is this really the God we serve? A God who can utter love and destruction with the same breath? Yes, for even in His love is His destruction.
Israel was a people set apart to be holy. In them God desired to redeem His perfect image in the world, but it could not be done. The Jewish people failed. Completely. So God sent His Son to be the perfect Jew, the full measure of His holy image on earth. In His life, death, and resurrection He won the victory, defeating sin and the grave. Now we who believe in Him are called a "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).
In this great love that God has for His people, originally the seed of Abraham and now the Church as the spiritual seed of Abraham, destruction is a vital aspect. In order to keep His royal priesthood pure, the Lord must pour out His wrath on all unholiness that would seek to stand against us. He must strike down those who wish to dilute the pure race of the Church by intermarrying heresy with the doctrines of Christ. His wrath is toward us an act of protection - the fiercest form of love.
Does the love we return to Him have an aspect of fierce protection? Does sin anger us? Do we stand in the face of iniquity in our lives and in the world, or do we passively affirm that God will set all things right in the end. We bank our spiritual victory on His future victory at the last day, but in doing so we diminish His glory because that last-day victory is simply the realization of the prize and place that has been His since the cross. Christ has already won the victory! Any sin in our lives, any evil in the world, any assault on the Church, the Bride of Christ, is now a grave violation of past victory. Do not add to that violation by not standing and fighting with vicious fierceness in His name. Where is your love? Where is your sword of the Word against sin and evil, injustice and poverty? Onward Christian soldier! Follow the cross of your Saviour into the battlefield where the greatest weapon is pure, Christ-like love.