Malachi 1:4-5…”But this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. You will see it with your own eyes and say, Great is the Lord – even beyond the borders of Israel!'” Why is the Lord great if He destroys and demolishes those whom He made in His own image? Because He is both holy and just. If God were only holy, and not just, He would not punish sin; but, because his justice is every bit as perfect and consistent as His holiness, no sin goes unpunished. His greatness also includes His grace and mercy though, and in Christ this is how He can punish every sin and yet save some. Jesus is the answer to the riddle of the Old Testament, found in Exodus 34:6-7:
The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.How can God both punish every sin and maintain love to thousands? One word, Jesus.