Anger Rising

We are made in the image of God; not that we are equal or just like God, but we favor him. One aspect we share is the emotion of anger. God was angry with Israel. “Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you….I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me. And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too.” (Deuteronomy 9:7-8, 19-20). Again we find, “God’s anger rose against them…” and “Because of their guilt, God’s anger came on Judah and Jerusalem.” (Psalm 78:31; 2 Chronicles 24:18).

Was Yeshua ever angry? As fully human, He must have been and I remembered when he drove the money changers out of the temple, but it concludes, “His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ ” (John 2:17). There is one account, “Then Jesus asked them, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ ” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” (Mark 3:4-5) It seems very rare, but His anger did not prevent miraculous healing, because He is divine as well as human.

God is perfect, therefore, even His anger is just and righteous. In the end God’s wrath and anger will be appeased. “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” (Romans 2:8; Matthew 18:34-35; Hebrews 4:3). We are far from perfect, so our anger is not good or just. “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:22). “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8). “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold….Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:26-27, 31). The devil will get a foothold in order to harm us, if we succumb to anger, rather than producing God’s goodness. As James says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20). My son-in-law put this into action when he told me, “If I feel the blood rising within from anger because of something said or heard; I wait till I calm down before responding, even if I must wait till tomorrow.” Lord, we see anger in the news and many things trigger anger within us. Help us release the anger through forgiveness, restore the peace, and cut off Satan’s influence.

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