Anger Management

“I will not give vent to my blazing anger …” Hosea 11:9.

 

The above line, taken from the Old Testament, makes God seem potentially harsh. Here, in Hosea, God is angry. Anger seems to be at odds with the picture painted by Jesus in our New Testament. After all, God is love. 1 John 4:8. He tells me this in His word and I believe it. So what do I do with Him, or more aptly my view of Him, when He becomes angry? How do I manage this anger?

 

Well, understanding it will probably help. So …

 

In reading through the Old Testament God’s anger, His wrath, is often evident. The Israelites are always going astray, always giving Him cause. When Israel IS doing their part the nations around them aren’t and God is dealing out blows to them. David commits adultery and the resulting child is taken from him in death. Saul consults a witch rather than trust God and repent. He loses his crown, his very sanity. Time after time we see nations and individuals giving God reason to be angry and He is. Of course He doesn’t give full vent to His anger or there would probably be none of us left.

 

This is the key to understanding God when He is angry. Because He does get mad and He does take action. But His anger is managed, He does what needs to be done and, unlike us who often go to far in venting, that’s all. Remember “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?” This was ancient anger management. Prior to God giving Moses these instructions it was more like “My eye? Your life!” Overkill. But with God? Enough, no more and no less. Why? Because He IS a God of love. Where there is real love there will be real action taken by the Lover to bring the beloved back into line. Israel sinned, God let them be led into captivity. He vented His anger and the result was that Israel saw their mistakes and repented. After having been punished just enough to get their attention and change their hearts they were brought back home. David saw his sin, owned it, gave it to God in repentance and the next child born was the wisest king that ever ruled Israel. Sadly some balk at their just punishment and, like Saul, loose all.

 

See Hebrews 12:6. This is why, even after having been forgiven, we do penance. Being forgiven means we’ve been forgiven. This is what Christ bought for us on Calvary. He payed the debt ultimately, we do our part in co-operation with His sacrifice. It’s like a child playing ball who accidentally throws the ball through the neighbors window. Understanding that he is guilty he goes to the door, rings the bell, and admits the wrong. The neighbor says, “Well, you’re honest about it. I forgive you.” And then the neighbor says, “Now, lets talk about how you’re going to pay for this glass.” And they let the kid work (penance) it off doing odd jobs around the place. Repentance, of the real variety, brings knowledge of personal responsibility.

 

Read Proverbs 13:24. This goes hand in hand with Hebrews 12:6. This is the kind of anger God knows. The loving discipline of a parent who wants the best for their child. To be Christlike means more than just rescuing cute little lost lambs. It means turning over tables, chasing people out of the temple with a whip, and asking us children to pay for our broken windows.

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Published in: on October 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. So very beautifully. Said..I am sure the lord smiles down on you for helping us to understand his words. You always give me pause to ponder and I thank you.for it brings me closer to him who gave me life.

  2. Thank you, Ginny. Anything good from me is there because of Him, not me. All the rest I did to myself. 😉


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