Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)
TITLE: Some Angry Thoughts
By Dave Wagner
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Psalm 76:7: Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
The tendency is to fixate on God’s love, mercy and compassion at the expense of the balancing elements of fear and anger. The Lord is not an affable Santa Claus type, sitting on a porch in Heaven, waiting anxiously for us to decide whether we love Him enough to seek Him or not. True, He loves, He laughs, He is gentle, longsuffering and compassionate…but remember also that His heart breaks, He gets jealous, He gets angry. In fact, He gets furious. He is a man of war.
Another surprise might be the cause and recipient of that anger and fury. The unwashed heathen? While there is Bible to support that (Micah 5:15; Zephaniah 3:8), the majority of the time, it is His people Israel, and His city Jerusalem, that kindles His anger and invites His hand of destruction.
2 Kings 21:15: Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.
The Old Testament is replete with examples: in every occasion, it is the behavior of His people that fans the flame of His fury. His response was not to “love the sinner and hate the sin.” Rather, He would give them over to their enemies. He would send destruction. He would hide His face from them, and not listen to their cries for help.
Because of their sinful daily behavior.
There are many that would have us believe that now that “grace” has come, God sees us only through Christ, and therefore overlooks our sinful behavior. Oddly enough, these are the same Christians that will quote that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Are our works inconsequential under the new covenant? Does God care what we do, on a daily basis? Does God still get angry with us when we sin? Do we wilt like lilies at the thought of God being angry with us?
1 Cor 15:34: Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
What is it that has derailed our common sense, and prevented us from properly understanding the seriousness of obedience and sin? Is it a misunderstanding of the definition of grace in the new covenant? Is it a simple byproduct of buying into dispensational theology? What will it take to get us to take sin seriously enough to work with God to remove it from our personality? If we continue to waffle about sin, convinced that it doesn’t much matter because it will all come out in the wash in the end, then we run the risk of destruction, whether we call ourselves Christians or not.
Galatians 6:7-8: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
It is a question of obedience: Do you know what God wants you to do today? Is it important to know it? Is it even possible to know it? Does God expect us to serve Him, or does He simply expect us to believe in Jesus, and go about our lives “business as usual”, waiting to die and go to Heaven? What are the consequences of living a life of compromise and careless behavior?
Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ...they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
We are not predestined for Heaven, but rather to be conformed to the image of Jesus. If we accept this challenge, and work with God to conquer the sin within us, we will be rid of that which causes God to be angry with us.
Isaiah 12:1: And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
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