Loving Lord Jesus, how wonderful You are! You love me singularly, perfectly, fully–right to the very end.
Read Isaiah 5:22-30
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.
God’s anger is for justice and its implementation. Are there times when it is right for us to be angry?
The hand that was stretched out to save is now extended in judgment (Exod. 6:6; Isa. 9:12,17; 10:4). The “woe” (Hebrew, hoy!) and “therefore” (Hebrew, lakén) continue, combining anger and pathos. The Hebrew word “af” is the word for nostril, and just as we “flair our nostrils” when annoyed, Isaiah describes God’s anger in human terms. Such anger, however, is never undeserved, irrational or predetermined. It is righteous, relevant and proportionate to the offense committed. In Isaiah it is described as relentless (here), violent (10:5), destructive (10:25). It is fierce (13:9), burning (13:13), aggressive (14:6), raging (30:30), and bloody (63:3), but not unlimited (12:1).
The justice and mercy of God go hand in hand, and while “mercy triumphs over judgment” (Jas. 2:13), the judgment of God was righteous, relevant and a reality that Israel was to discover through the Assyrian rise to power. An invading army, the stench of battle casualties, the gleam of armor and the sound of chariots are images the prophet uses to strike fear in the hearts of his hearers and call them to turn from their ways of injustice.
God’s anger is always a counterpart to his deep, yearning love. The god of many philosophers is impassive, abstract and distant from creation, an easy target for atheists to attack. But the God of the Bible is more; he is so passionately involved with his creation and his people that he uses Assyria as a tool to judge Israel.
Should we be concerned that God’s choice of Israel and his covenant relationship with them seems too arbitrary and emotional, smacking of favoritism? Or should it be rightly understood as a model for God’s commitment to all, to take all our sins and face all the punishment for our sin on the cross at Calvary?
How do you understand the anger of God over sin? How does James 1:19-21 help?
Lord, I thank You for Your passionate involvement with me. I ask forgiveness for my willfulness and sin. Guide me in the way of greater holiness.
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