I have a Protestant (Calvinist evangelical) friend who recently posted the following note. I am looking for a better understanding/ rebuttal to this. I appreciate all your insights!
God the Delighted Destroyer
You cannot approach the God of the Bible lightly. He cannot be a convenient “afterthought” of life; someone that affords a vague sense of universal belonging, or who offers a mere “fire-insurance” policy. The Bible affords you no such freedom vis-à-vis God. Consider this verse taken from Deuteronomy 28 (a long chapter in which Moses details the curses of judgment that await Israel should the nation disobey God):
“It shall come about that as the Lord delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the Lord will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you will be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it.” (Deuteronomy 28:63)
Does it ever enter into our conscious thought that the God we take so lightly delights in judgment and destruction? Please don’t misunderstand me…a right and full-orbed view of God extends much further than Deuteronomy 28:63. But, every now and then, it’s helpful to let one aspect of truth jolt our complacency. Those who are in Christ need not fear this. Indeed, the cross makes verse 63 a beautiful truth. You who continue to ignore Christ, be warned! Should death or Jesus’ return find you unrepentant, God will delight over your destruction. The God of John 3:16 (For God so loved the world…) is also the God of Deuteronomy 28:63. The God of Heaven is also the God of Hell. How will you respond to Him?
My response thus far;
God does not delight in the loss of a single soul. This is clearly seen in Ezekiel 18:23
“Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? Ezek. 18:23”
The Hebrew word Hapes is used in Ezekiel…twice for emphasis. Hapes meaning “to take pleasure or desire”. This word is not found in Deuteronomy.
You fundamentally misunderstand this passage brother.