Back in April I got an email that, in part, stated this: “… As I read more from your writings and teachings I get that you think God is angry. Viewing God as an angry God is a misconception a lot of people have. God is of love. His anger is momentary, provisional. His anger is not towards anyone. His anger is only a temporary state for him. You do not know God because God is love.”
This person is correct that God is love. The inspired word of God states such. Notice: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love… And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:8 and I John 4:16). However, the person that wrote that statement above is incorrect concerning the anger of the Lord. The inspired word of God states that God is angry with the wicked and that such is not just a temporary state of His mind. Notice: “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalms 7:11).
The phrase “anger of the Lord” appears in the Scriptures at least 32 times (Exodus 4:14, Numbers 11:10, Numbers 12:9, Numbers 25:3-4, Numbers 32:14, Deuteronomy 6:15, Deuteronomy 7:4, Deuteronomy 29:20, Deuteronomy 29:27, Joshua 7:1, Joshua 23:16, Judges 2:14, Judges 2:20, Judges 3:8, Judges 10:7, II Samuel 6:7, II Samuel 24:1, II Kings 13:3, II Kings 24:20, I Chronicles 13:10, II Chronicles 25:15, Isaiah 5:25, Jeremiah 4:8, Jeremiah 12:13, Jeremiah 23:20, Jeremiah 25:37, Jeremiah 30:24, Jeremiah 51:45, Jeremiah 52:3, Lamentation 4:16, and Zephaniah 2:2). Anger is not only a state of mind for our Lord, anger is just as much part of His identity as love is. To know God is not just looking at a few Scriptures that we like. To really know our Lord we have to study throughout all of the Scriptures and see Him as He is.
See Him As He Is
God is merciful and loving (Ephesians 2:4). Yet, to see that side of Him you’d have to be a person or people who obey Him (Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 7:9, and Jude 1:21). Israel had a long history of transgressing the will of our Lord (Psalms 78:1-72, Psalms 106:1-48, and Nehemiah 9:1-38). Things had gotten so bad with the ten tribes of Israel that we read this: “Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only” (II Kings 17:18). A careful study of the Scriptures shows that the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were the only ones left after that point in time (Jeremiah 32:44). Israel had found themselves at the limit of God’s mercy and love. He was done with them. He was at a point wherein He showed them His wrath because of their sinful actions (II Chronicles 36:14-16).
Don’t think that God will be more merciful with us than He was in the past. Actually, you should expect Him to be less longsuffering with us than He was with Israel. Notice: “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:22-31).
How many times have we all studied that the Scriptures give us all we need to know to live faithfully and serve God properly (II Timothy 3:15-17 and II Peter 1:3-11)? Those Scriptures are what we have to learn of our Lord. When Paul was addressing how he spoke by the Spirit of the Lord instead of the wisdom of men (I Corinthians 2:1-13), he wrote this: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:14-16). Our Lord is revealed to us, down to His thinking process, in the Scriptures. Learn the word of our Lord, be an obedient doer of what you learn, and you will know Him (I John 2:3-6)!
Paul wrote: “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God…” (Romans 11:22). Open up the Scriptures and see God. Don’t approach your studies with what you want to see. Approach the sacred text and see what He wants you to see. Take time when you study, for our Lord’s thoughts are very deep (Psalms 92:5) and beyond our own (Isaiah 55:6-9).
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