What does “Walking in the light” mean? Answers to this question range from doing what is right at any time, especially when no one is looking, to following the example of Christ. Does this mean we are supposed to be nice? Is God nice? And what about God’s Son – Was Jesus a nice guy when He cleared the Jerusalem temple and kicked the money changers out?
I believe there is a reason why the Bible doesn’t state that God is nice, but instead emphatically reiterates that God is love. In fact, when I conducted a search on the word “nice” in all 66 books of the Bible, only one verse came up, namely in the book of Jeremiah, where it says (Jeremiah 12:6):
“For even your brothers – your father’s house – even they will betray you, even they will shout out after you. Have no confidence in them, even if they say nice words to you.”
Obviously, the Bible does not seem to have very much to say about being nice – but what about love? Conducting a search on the word “love” in all 66 books of the Bible, I came up with a whopping 588 search results. 588 to 1 – love definitely wins!
Since we all come from God, let us look at the originator of love, God Himself, and we will notice that His love comes in different shades. How about the shade of green for jealous love? In the book of Exodus we read about our jealous God (Exodus 34:14):
“For you are to bow down to no other god, because Adonai is jealous for His Name—He is a jealous God.”
If we see a friend habitually promoting his firstborn while overlooking what his other kids bring to the table, then we understand their jealousy. Jealousy is an indicator that there is preferential treatment going on, and preferential treatment is not OK. If the children of said friend didn’t care about their parents, then they wouldn’t be jealous and continuously fight for their attention. Jealousy is a hot burning flame that can undermine and destroy relationships, but it is a derivative of love. So from this vantage point it makes sense that God gets jealous if we overlook Him all the time and give our full attention to something or someone else. If we didn’t matter to Him He wouldn’t be jealous. His jealousy is His declaration of love to us.
Another shade of love is red – red as in seeing red: angry love. Prophet Isaiah wrote about God’s anger (Isaiah 57:17):
“Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry; I struck him; I hid My face; I was angry—but he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.”
God’s anger is a sure indicator that there is abuse and injustice going on. If we witness abuse and injustice we should get angry too. While anger is mostly known as violent temper, it can also be constructive and promote positive change. It is passion for freedom that ignited civil war in the United States. Without going into details, we still need a lot of constructive anger to eliminate all kinds of injustice on this planet. And this is why God gets angry. His anger might have a bad reputation, but look at the results. We are still here.
God’s anger initiates change and His mercies bring about new beginnings (Lamantations 3:22-23):
“It is through the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.” *King James Version
It is one of the Lord’s finest features that He sees hope when all hope is gone. His mercies are new every morning, which is why I think that the shades of God’s mercies are the colors of dawn.
God’s love spectrum is wide. His love meter goes from merciful love to jealous love to angry love. Since God loves full spectrum let us love with passion in return. And walking in love we walk in the light of the Lord.