Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- February 20, 2009
“And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you turn away from following Him, he will again leave all this people in the desert, and you will be the cause of their destruction.” Numbers 32:14-15
God’s anger is real. His angry side is as prevalent as His loving side. It is because of His anger that we appreciate His love. Without the wrath of God, we would not understand the grace of God. Our Lord without anger would be like a home security system unplugged and without power. It would look safe and impressive, but the reality of its protection would be void. There is no alarm, or security from harm and evil with a disengaged home security system.
The opposite can be said about our concerned and engaged heavenly Father. He becomes angry because He cares so much. His anger is for our protection. He only becomes angry around what is deeply valuable to Him. You are one of His precious ones. Your value to God is priceless. Indeed, He is extremely patient. However, His patience runs thin with our recurring sin and disobedience.
If you seek to take advantage of God’s good grace, there will be consequences. You cannot snub the Lord’s principles for living and not experience a painful backlash. God’s grace without the consequences of sin is only a sentimental feeling. God’s anger follows a life of sin and disrepair. He is seeking to get our attention in the middle of our negative results.
Because He cares, He is relentless in His pursuit of you. Be grateful that His anger has finally grabbed your attention. Your life has been like a bad dream invoked by unwise choices. Now He has awakened you from your sinful slumber by a looming crisis. The death of a friend, a broken heart, a cruel illness, divorce, depression or bankruptcy—one or a combination of these has put you over the edge.
God is angry at the injustice you are experiencing, and perhaps He is angry with you. So, now is the time to return to Him and to follow Him with your whole heart! The anger of God subsides in the face of confession and repentance of sin. As your pride transforms to humility, God’s grace and forgiveness extends beyond His anger. You may have even lashed back in anger in response to His.
However, the anger of God cannot be compared to the anger of man. The Lord’s anger is pure, holy and without sin. The anger of man is tainted by his sinful heart. You can have a righteous anger, which comes from Christ living within you. But, Christ is not angry with Himself. His anger is directed at sin and those who promote its use. Channel your anger toward objects of God’s anger, and you will experience a sinless anger. This is righteous indignation. Moreover, flee the wrath of God, by placing your faith in Christ. Trust Him for your salvation from hell in eternity and a hellish life on earth. Wise choices lead to an abundant life on earth. This makes God smile.
Don’t push the envelope with God. He is not a passive grandfather who winks at your destructive indiscretions. Serve and love Him wholeheartedly. Do what He says. Follow the example and commands of Jesus. So, invite His affirmation and not His anger. We are much better off in the loving hand of God, than the angry hand of God. You can turn away from Him and follow your own way, but you will experience His displeasure. Or, you can turn to Him and follow Christ, and you will experience His pleasure!
Taken from Dose 43 in the 90-day devotional Infusion
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