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Understanding Our "Angry God"

Psalm 2 “... He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord is laughing them to scorn. Then he will speak in his anger, His rage will strike them with terror...

If I had children and I found out someone was picking on my child, I would be angry. If I found out that someone in school offered my child drugs, I would be filled with rage that would strike whoever offered my child drugs, if they were to encounter me, with terror. I think most people who have children or nieces or nephews, or anyone that they care for, can understand this anger. I do not think that because of this anger, they would necessarily describe me as an angry person. But for some reason, God is not afforded the same understanding. 

God is our Father. Unfortunately, we have a very difficult time grasping this. Many of us did not have fathers in our lives growing up and many of us who did, did not have good relationships with them. In many cases, our earthly fathers anger was scary and not understood. So God the Father‘s anger is likewise scary and not understood. For this to change our perspective on our own anger and the anger of our imperfect earthly fathers has to change.

God is the perfect Father. He only wants what is best for us. And he is uniquely qualified to know without a doubt what is best for us because he is our Creator. He did not just participate in our creation like our earthly fathers do, but He is the creator of our bodies, minds, and spirits. His love for us is intense. It is so intense that it is represented in scripture as flame. Burning love. This intense love is expressed in an intense desire to see us flourish. And anything that keeps us from flourishing, God intensely dislikes. Anything that keeps us from flourishing makes him angry, just as our earthly fathers are made angry by anything that keeps us from flourishing. He knows what is ultimately the best for us, and as any good father would, he lovingly nudges us in the direction of the good. Anything that gets between us and what he is nudging us towards makes Him angry. So why do we not see past the anger to the love that is at the root of it? Because we do not do so with our earthly parents, and, in general, we do not do so with ourselves. 

In general, we are now taught that anger is negative, something that we should hide from, fear, and stifle. And so we want to hide from, fear, and stifle God.

Written 2/1/24

Human-written, AI spell-checked

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