Thursday, November 17, 2011
What does a mad God do with His anger?
One of the biggest fallacies taught about God is that He doesn't get angry at people.
Ever hear of a flood that wiped out all human beings except one family? God was mad! He was mad at the sinfulness of humanity, to the point that He regretted making mankind:
"5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the Lord said, 'I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them'," Genesis 6:5-7.
But, true to His gracious character, God's anger showed its righteousness in containing mercy:
"But Noah found favor with the Lord," Genesis 6:8.
The favor God extended to Noah was His means of extending another chance to humanity. But God is not meek toward sin. Look closely at Psalm 7:11:
"God is an honest judge. He is angry with the wicked every day."
God has a z-e-r-o tolerance for sin. Sin makes Him angry! Kind of like the parent who grows angry with the persistent, willful disobedience of an arrogant child.
But before you think of God's anger being something similar to our road rage, with a great celestial being hurling lightning bolts at "bad people," remember this:
"Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires," James 1:20.
Our anger is often not what could be described as "righteous indignation." But God can be angry and righteous. In fact, God "dealt with" His anger in order to extend to us the means of becoming righteous. Check this out:
"9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins," 1 John 4:9-10 (NASB).
From the first humans in the Garden of Eden, all the way to you and me, God has been the brunt of willful sin throughout human history. It's enough to make even God mad! And He was angry at sin.
Do you know what He did with it?
He used Christ on the cross as the dumping ground for His anger. All the wrath that God had toward our sin was dumped on Christ as He hung dying as a sacrifice --- a "propitiation" --- for our sin.
I had to go back to the New American Standard version to have a Bible translation that has the word "propitiation" in it; most modern versions have replaced that word with "sacrifice" or a definition of the term.
But it's a word every Christian should know and cherish!
To be a propitiation for our sin addresses two things: a place where wrath is poured out, and this is done to accomplish a reconciling. When wrath is removed, there can then be reconciliation.
In order to be reconciled to God, His wrath toward humanity's sin had to be addressed. As Christ bore the sins of us all on the cross, He also took upon Himself the wrath God had toward our sin!
Jesus truly --- truly --- bore it all!
God's anger toward sin is settled at the cross, through Christ who was sent to be the propitiation for our sin.
The next time you're prone to get a little angry, just think of the wrath Christ bore on our behalf from a God who was angry at sin. Maybe it will help you contain your anger to righteous indignation ... and be very grateful.