An Angry God
Good Lord, may Your Word today shape my mind and heart in a direction that pleases and honors You.
Read Isaiah 5:22-30
 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks,  who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.  Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.  Therefore the LORD’s anger burns against his people; his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.  He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come, swiftly and speedily!  Not one of them grows tired or stumbles, not one slumbers or sleeps; not a belt is loosened at the waist, not a sandal strap is broken.  Their arrows are sharp, all their bows are strung; their horses’ hooves seem like flint, their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.  Their roar is like that of the lion, they roar like young lions; they growl as they seize their prey and carry it off with no one to rescue.  In that day they will roar over it like the roaring of the sea. And if one looks at the land, there is only darkness and distress; even the sun will be darkened by clouds. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the basic problem these people have (24b)?
I hate it when people get angry with me. And when I say something in the heat of the moment I spend hours regretting it. It is pretty obvious from this passage that God’s anger doesn’t blow over as quickly as mine does (25), and with very good reason! His law has been rejected, therefore his anger burns as tongues of fire (24,25). The consequences are truly dreadful as he punishes Judah with destruction by the mighty armies of Assyria (26-30). What does God’s anger mean to us? Do we really expect him to get angry with us, punish us? As a teenager I had two friends who had very different journeys to faith. One saw God’s tremendous love, the other saw only his anger. Eventually, between them they saw the whole picture, which is what we, too, need to see. There are many things in our world today which can rightly make us angry. We have to do what we can to put things right, and then leave the rest to God. We need to help people realize, as Judah had yet to learn, that only true repentance can turn away God’s anger.
Reflect on what your picture of God is. Is it complete and balanced? If not, what realization is needed?
Pray that you will understand your own anger better and know when to use it and when to apologize to God.