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May 08, 2023

Ep.1280: Is God an Angry God?

Uncovering God’s true character through a specific set of scriptures

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When was the first time God introduced Himself as being compassionate and gracious?

In what contexts did David repeat this special description of God?

What do Jonah, Hezekiah, Joel and Nehemiah teach us about God's anger?

Theme Scripture: Psalm 145:8

The thought that God is a God of anger - especially in the Old Testament - is alive and well. It’s a very convenient thought. All one has to do is select from the many passages in the Old Testament that show God commanding the destruction of this or that people. It’s easy to say He has anger issues and therefore should not be worshipped. The only problem is that this conclusion is in direct opposition to the truth. To grasp the correct thought, we need to begin by focusing on putting God’s anger into its proper context. This basic exercise opens up a perspective on God’s anger that redefines it. Simply stated, God’s anger is an occasionally used tool of His overwhelmingly just, loving, wise and powerful character. He is SO much bigger than He is given credit for.

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In Exodus 32:10, God is speaking to Moses and He is not happy. God had just delivered the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt with miracles and drama. He had called Moses up to the mountain to give him the Law and instructions to bring to this newly-freed nation. Because Moses was gone for a while and they didn’t know when he’d return, the people built a golden calf to worship. God sees this overt disobedience and disrespect and tells Moses, “Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them.”

Unreasonable anger?

It is so easy for many to interpret God’s anger in this account as out of control and unreasonable. The irony of this is that when this account is considered in its entirety, it shows us the exact opposite conclusion. It shows us the depth of God’s compassion and mercy. It helps us see that God’s anger - though real - is simply a tool in His hand and not an aspect of His character. On top of that, this account also reveals the process through which God ultimately deals with all of humanity.

All of this comes down to two words.

Further along in the context of God dealing with Moses and the rebelliousness of the people, God describes Himself. Though His description is detailed, there are two particular words that stand out. They stand out because they are only used in the Bible to describe God Himself. They are used together multiple times throughout the Old Testament.

Check out our May 8, 2023 podcast, “Is God an Angry God?” for more. We zero in on the powerful standard God set with Moses in dealing with the rebelliousness of Israel. We then track through many of the other scriptural accounts that use these two special words together as a description of God. What we find is no less dramatic or inspiring. Every time these two words appear together, they expand our understanding of God’s true character. Join us for this is unusual journey that verifies who God is, how He works and all that He stands for in a very unique way.


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