There are a lot of people who think that God is angry at mankind. These folks are always quick to pounce anytime a major disaster strikes and pronounce that it’s the result of God’s judgement. You can look at the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, various tsunamis, even the 9/11 attacks and see even prominent Christians declaring that God did those things as part of His judgement on mankind.
Christians pronouncing the wrath of God have a long and illustrious history. For example, the image accompanying this post is a word cloud from the most common words found in Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” (The complete text is here if you’re interested in reading it.)
Notice the some of biggest words (the biggest ones are the most frequent in the text): God, wrath, hell, nothing, wicked, fierceness, fury, power, destruction, moment.
One word I noticed that is conspicuously, and completely missing from that sermon: Jesus.
Edwards never mentioned the name Jesus once in his most famous sermon. Wonder why.
Let me say that, in spite of this, Edwards is rightfully credited with being one of the major catalyst’s for the Great Awakening in America. God can use whatever tools He chooses to get the job done.
There may be a rich Christian tradition of declaring God’s wrath on mankind but those folks couldn’t be more wrong. God has already satisfied His judgment when Jesus was nailed to the cross. The angels foresaw this when they declared at His birth, “peace on Earth, goodwill toward men!” Jesus knew it when he declared, “it is finished” right before he died.
If God poured all His judgement out on Jesus then there is nothing left for the rest of us.
Slow to Anger
Besides the Bible says that God is slow to anger. Take a look.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,— Psalm 103:8
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
Think about that for a moment. What do you think “slow” is in God terms?
Well at the end of the book of Revelation Jesus says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” He said that to John about 2,000 years ago. (Rev 22:20)
If “quickly” to God is at least 2,000 years then how long is “slowly” to Him?
I don’t know. But it has to be longer than two millennia for sure. And if God angers that slowly then how can He possibly be mad enough to cause disasters in our time? There isn’t a nation on this Earth with a government anywhere near that old!
Let me leave you today with this encouragement from Psalm 30. Even if God was angry with you at some point in the past, that anger is long gone. Step into His favor.
For His anger is but for a moment,— Psalm 30:5
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.