Remember the opening scene in Twister? When the dad held onto the door of the storm cellar (or was it a root cellar?) and got carried away by a tornado?
“Let go of the door!” I shout whenever I watch that movie. “Let go of the dang door and get down there with your family!”
That scene always exasperates me because that little girl’s dad didn’t have to be swept away. I know it adds to the drama, to the heroine’s motive for chasing storms, but it still makes me mad. Except today. Today it’s coming in kind of handy.
I’ve been pondering how to explain the compatibility of God’s love and wrath to a bunch of high school students. And it occurred to me.
In Revelation 14 it says, “‘Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.’ The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.”
We assume that evil people are being harvested and thrown into the winepress because of all the blood.
But what if evil is the only intended harvest?
What if “they”, the grapes = evil, not evil people?
Those who cling to the evil that is being harvested, who refuse to let go of it, end up in the winepress. Like bugs clinging to grapes, they get unintentionally swept up in the harvest. Like dads clinging to storm cellar doors.
I’m liking that possibility. It’s compatible with God’s character. It goes with His aim to save us. It goes with His desire that none should perish. I can see love in His wrath against evil. I can see Him thoroughly rooting it out because evil hurts all of us – those who love Him, and those who don’t.
Plus it goes with what He said back in Genesis 3 – that He was going to crush Satan’s head (like a grape).