Exodus 34:4-7 and 1 John 4:8
In our “enlightened” society of today—which is much different from the society of Exodus 34—sometimes people will hear this truth and say, “I can’t believe in a God of wrath.” I lovingly respond, “I believe you can!”
You see, every time you hear about a child sold into prostitution by her family, another oil spill by a careless, greedy multinational corporation, a rape or murder or genocide or someone using their power to manipulate those working for them, you get angry and think to yourself…“this isn’t how it’s supposed to be!” And guess what? You’re right!
The truth is, there are times when the healthy, emotionally mature response to evil is anger. We’ve set a false narrative that it’s EITHER anger OR love. But I believe we need to live in the tension between love and anger.
You see, wrath/anger is Yahweh’s response to evil in the world, but love is an attribute, it’s who He IS. We never read, “God is wrath”. In fact, we read something quite different about our God in 1 John 4:8: “God is love.”
In Yahweh, we see that His anger is BORN out of his love. When you see someone you love in pain, that should move you emotionally. And it should move you to action, to do something about it.
Let me say it again: we need to live in the tension between love and anger.
You may know of people who think of love and anger as incompatible. “How can you love someone AND be angry with them?” That just shows us how much we still have to learn about love.
This side of Yahweh, a God who is loving, but still gets angry and isn’t afraid to give out appropriate judgment may be very different from the God you’re used to. The truth is, God is not a permissive parent; neither is he an angry jerk of a dad. He is a good Father—compassionate, gracious AND slow to anger.
Close your time in prayer.