How does God express his anger? Does he explode in anger toward his creation? Does he become embittered with humanity? Is his anger good? Or is it fearful and wrathful?
To understand God’s anger, we must first understand his love. God is perfectly loving. God is not self-centered. He is not easily frustrated. He is never embittered. He is not out to get us. He is not egotistical. No, God loves perfectly, selflessly, and expresses his love in all the right ways. He cares for his creation with infinite Fatherly affection.
And it is for the very reason that God is loving that he is angry. Many think that if God is love, he can never get angry. That he must never be upset, but only love. But love by definition protects and acts. It is only loving to defend and to take action for the object loved. Becky Pippert once said,
“Think how we feel when we see someone we love ravaged by unwise actions or relationships. Do we respond with benign tolerance as we might toward strangers? Far from it… Anger isn’t the opposite of love. Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference.”
And so, because God is loving, he must get angry. If God were to never get angry, he would not be perfectly loving.
He must get angry at sin and evil. He must get angry with all selfishness and wickedness. He must get angry at anything that would spoil his perfect creation. He must get angry at anything that would threaten his reign of righteousness. And so his is!
But here is the most amazing thing about God’s perfect anger. It should be directed at sinners. We should receive God’s anger for our own rebellion against him. We should receive wrath for our sin and evil. After all, it is our sin that has ruined his perfect creation.
And yet, rather than exploding on us with anger, or leaving us to our own destruction, God made a slow, wise plan, not to destroy his creation, but to restore it. God made a plan to execute his perfect anger toward our sin in a way that would redeem and rebuild his creation.
And God did this by pouring out his anger on Jesus. He punished all of our sin and evil in Christ instead of us. That through faith in him, we might never taste a drop of God’s anger again. He did it that we might not experience his punishment, but only his love.
And for this, we find that God’s anger, rather than being a destructive, mean, spiteful anger, is actually redemptive. It is loving. It is caring. It is purposeful. It is aimed at restoring us rather than destroying us.
Do you see that amazing anger of God? Even in his anger, God is saving his creation.