Anger and Love

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2016

Making Sense of God's Anger

Key Bible Verse: [Christ’s] sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. (Romans 3:23-25)

Dig Deeper: Isaiah 42

[Let’s] reflect briefly on what the Bible says about sin and death. Both testaments teach that death is the just punishment for sin and death. Both testaments teach that death is the just punishment for sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23; James 1:15). … If the wages of sin is death, why don’t more people die immediately? More people don’t die instantly because God is gracious and slow to anger. He decides to delay the punishment for sin and give people opportunities to repent.

While severe punishments should remind us that death is the natural consequence of sin, instead we think God is mean. While delayed punishments should remind us that God is slow to anger, instead we think we don’t really deserve death. We end up taking God’s mercy for granted.

Is the God of the Old Testament angry? Yes. Is the God of the Old Testament loving? Yes. Is the God of the New Testament angry? Yes. Is the God of the New Testament loving? Yes.

Anger and love are not mutually exclusive. Love for people can lead to anger over a broken relationship. Love for people can also lead to anger about injustice. The God of the Old Testament and New Testament is both quick to love and slow to anger. And we should be too.

– David T. Lamb in God Behaving Badly


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