Unconditional love, as a teaching, does away with God’s power of choice. It stipulates that God must love because He is love. But it refuses to acknowledge that because of God’s righteous law of love that God is capable of hating anyone or anything. Nevertheless, we have read in Scriptures what God can do regarding His power of choice–who He will hate, and love no more. “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.” KJV, Hosea 9:15, emphasis added. The reasons, or conditions, for making these choices are also quite clear: wickedness, and revolting against His government.
The lessons of Gilgal will be further dwelt upon in another blog. But for purposes here, we will consider that even with those God called to be His people, failure due to unbelief led them to become complainers and disobedient children. In their sin and unbelief, God could not fully protect them from the dangers that surrounded them. Protection, as a token of His love, had to be removed as a means of disciplining them and reminding them of how good they had it when obedient to the laws governing His kingdom.
“Every day of their travels they had been kept by a miracle of divine mercy. In all the way of God’s leading they had found water to refresh the thirsty, bread from heaven to satisfy their hunger, and peace and safety under the shadowy cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Angels had ministered to them as they climbed the rocky heights or threaded the rugged paths of the wilderness. Notwithstanding the hardships they had endured, there was not a feeble one in all their ranks. Their feet had not swollen in their long journeys, neither had their clothes grown old. God had subdued before them the fierce beasts of prey and the venomous reptiles of the forest and the desert. If with all these tokens of His love the people still continued to complain, the Lord would withdraw His protection until they should be led to appreciate His merciful care, and return to Him with repentance and humiliation.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 428, emphasis added.)
“The righteous understand God’s government, and will triumph with holy gladness in the everlasting protection and salvation that Christ through His merits has secured for them. Let all remember this, and forget not that the wicked, who do not receive Christ as their personal Saviour, understand not His providence. The way of righteousness they have not chosen, and they know not God. Notwithstanding all the benefits He has so graciously bestowed upon them, they have abused His mercy by neglecting to acknowledge His goodness and mercy in showing them these favors. At any moment God can withdraw from the impenitent the tokens of His wonderful mercy and love.” (Ellen White, MS 151, 1901, emphasis added.)
“At any moment God can withdraw from the impenitent the tokens of His wonderful mercy and love. Oh, that human agencies might consider what will be the sure result of their ingratitude to Him and of their disregard of the infinite Gift of Christ to our world! If they continue to love transgression more than obedience, the present blessings and the great mercy of God that they now enjoy, but do not appreciate, will finally become the occasion of their eternal ruin. When it is too late for them to see and to understand that which they have slighted as a thing of naught, they will know what it means to be without God, without hope. Then they will realize what they have lost by choosing to be disloyal to God and to stand in rebellion to His commandments.” (Ellen White, MS 125, 1907, emphasis added; see also Signs of the Times, July 22, 1908.)