You love the Lord, and you want to be pleasing to Him. But life is distracting, and you’re finding it hard to keep your feet out of the world. Is God now mad at you? Even worse – will He push you away or punish you for what you just did??
The Old Testament sometimes seems to present God as an angry, wrathful God – just waiting for the right moment to punish people in His wrath. But we must look and see just what are the things people were doing that stirred His anger?
Numbers 25:2 The Moabite women invited the people to the sacrifices for their god. So the people ate a meal, and they worshipped their god. 3 Israel became attached to the Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry at the Israelites. 4 The Lord said to Moses: Take all the leaders of the people and kill them on behalf of the Lord in broad daylight, so that the Lord’s anger turns away from Israel.
I Kings 11:8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. 9 The Lord grew angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from being with the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 The Lord had commanded Solomon about this very thing, that he shouldn’t follow other gods. But Solomon didn’t do what the Lord commanded.
You can trace all through the Old Testament and find instances of the Lord “growing angry”, yet in every single instance, it was because the people turned away from Him and began to worship and serve other gods. “Gods” who were nothing more than demons, the Destroyer of Souls, Satan, the very enemy of God. People who turned from the Lord and joined themselves with the enemy.
Let’s take a look at what God’s anger really is:
Human beings define wrath as “intense anger, rage, fury, vengeance” according to Webster’s New World Dictionary. But God defines His anger in a totally different way. There are over 6 different words used in the Hebrew of the Old Testament that are collectively translated as “wrath.” However, a more careful examination of those words renders them better translated as “passionately sorrowful or troubled.” The heart of God is and has always been tender and passionately sorrowful over the transgressions of those who believe in and love Him.
At the same time, He holds true Wrath for those who have rejected Him and have given over to the work of the enemy, because their deeds are nothing but unrighteousness, destruction and sin.
God’s holy righteousness demands payment for sin
In the Old Testament days, God’s anger at sin (turning away from His holy will for man, and following the ways of Satan) was cancelled out by sacrifices at the Temple. But “just at the appointed time,” in His everlasting Mercy and Kindness, He instituted a new covenant; a new way of dealing with the judgment, the anger/wrath of God was brought into being. Jesus came to die on the Cross and become our Perfect Sacrifice, breaking the power of sin and death over us once and for all when we accept Him as our Savior.
God took out His wrath on Christ instead of on sinners. Now, anyone who will place his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior from sin will receive the forgiveness of sins, and the wrath of God will never again come down upon that one, because Christ bore God’s wrath on that believer’s behalf.