God’s Anger in Action

Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, once complained to the President about a fellow army officer. Lincoln advised him to write the man a letter expressing his anger. Stanton did so, and showed it to Lincoln. After approving the letter, the President asked Stanton w … More

Anger

Judges 2 gives us a clear picture of God’s anger in action as He deals with the disobedience and sin of Israel. A heavenly messenger brought distressing news to the multitude of Israel assembled at Bochim. This messenger severely rebuked the Israelites for their disobedience in failing to drive out their enemies and for not tearing down their altars (vv. 1-3). Israel’s rebellion was intolerable and they would have to suffer the consequences of their wrong-doing. Israel was so disturbed by this stern rebuke that she cried (vv. 4-5) . However her tears soon vanished and her memory was short lived. A new generation soon forgot about the good resolutions made by its parents (vv. 6-10). Could this have been because their fathers were so busy trying to possess the land that they neglected the spiritual instruction of their children?

Contact with the unconquered heathen now produced distressing results. Soon Israel was prostrating herself before Baal which was the Phoenician rain-god and Oshtaroth the moon-god (vv. 11-13). When any people who knew God forsook Him, the result was a vacuum of religion that soon was filled with other objects of worship. This passage gives us a clear picture of God’s anger in action as He deals with the disobedience and sin of Israel. The time of the judges was a low point in Israel’s history, as God’s people provoked Him to anger by their sin (v. 14). The LORD had warned Israel he would do this, and now the Israelites were miserable (v. 15).

Application

When it comes to me personally getting angry, it’s almost always a good idea for me to think twice, count to ten, take a walk, or do whatever it takes to reconsider my response. But God never needs to reconsider or repent for His anger. Because God is holy and perfect, His anger is holy and perfect.

Judges 2:1-15 (English Standard Version)


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