As we have often discussed, God is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness – which appears to be balanced perfectly with His complete and pure justice. God uses His restraint over His righteous anger to bless the earth – and His children.
We know that the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:20), and yet, God definitely experiences anger. It appears our challenge is to allow right anger to be appropriately fueled in our lives to accomplish His purposes. So, a warrior can be angry and not sin. While this is tricky – it is achievable – and Jesus was well aware of what this looked like.
“And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves.” – Matthew 21:12,13
“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” – Matthew 23:33
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is (submitted) before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” – Isaiah 53:7
11 times in the law and prophets it is said that the anger of the Lord burned. While our anger can burn alongside His, we should take care to not let what burns within us do so apart from Him. This can result in roots of bitterness (Hebrews 12:15) which are completely undesirable for our souls – or the glory of God.
Psalm 106:40,41/This is serious.
Jeremiah 23:20/It may take until the end of time to understand it.
Isaiah 13:13/It is good to be hidden in that day!
Where does this leave me as a follower of Jesus and servant of God Most High?
“… and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with your neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” – Ephesians 4:31
After all, who wants to give the devil more opportunity with us than he appears to already have?!
There is a kind of indignation which actually reflects the righteous anger of God. Here are some areas (there are others):
√ God appears to hate oppression.
√ God is angered over pure evil toward Himself and others.
√ God is disgusted with the rebellion of His children.
√ God is displeased and angered over rejection of His holiness. (Genesis 6:6)
“From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” – Revelation 19:15
While our modern view of God often rejects the idea of His justice and anger, there is no doubt we will see and experience it on the last Day. Right along with His endless kindness. One of my greatest joys is the relieving thought of being covered from His anger through faith in His Son.
“Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth, who have carried out the revealed truth of His heart. Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of Yahweh’s anger.” – Zephaniah 2:3
We are counting on it!
Dave and Burnadette