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10th December, 2007

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What makes God angry the most?

One of God's marvelous attributes is His anger. Because He is infinitely just and infinitely perfect in love, He logically must “react” against human wickedness that, among other things, inflicts injustice upon, and shows hatred toward, other people. Scripture applies the word “anger” and its synonyms to His reaction. Jesus, in whom dwelt the “fullness of the Godhead bodily”, got angry, too:

And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts… (Mark 3:5).

Here Jesus is incensed by the bizarre attitude of some who felt it was wrong for Him to heal people on the holy Sabbath. Though God is full of mercy, He “must” react against all human folly and sin or He would not be perfect in righteousness. This general anger of God never leaves Him, so that He is, “angry with the wicked every day” (Ps. 7:11). Our specific point of investigation lies in seeking to find what makes God more angry than anything else. Whatever it is ought to be of critical concern to believers. If Scripture gives an answer, it is probably found in Psalm 90, where Moses confesses on behalf of all Israel, and probably of the entire human race,

For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh (vss. 7-9).

These words carry huge significance;

humanity is “consumed” (whatever exactly that may mean) by God's anger, and our lives come to an end “like a sigh” after years of “passing away in His wrath”. Pretty heavy stuff. But what lies at the very heart of our God-provoking “iniquities” and “hidden sins”? The answer seems to be revealed a couple of verses later:

Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath (vs. 11).

The first sentence seems to be asking the same question we are investigating here — what does God reserve His most intense (powerful) anger for? We will lean for our understanding of the next sentence on the Jewish Soncino rendition:

Who knoweth the power of Thine anger, and Thy wrath according to the fear that is due unto Thee?

God's wrath arises out of the lack of “fear” — awe, reverence, love, and worshipfulness — which we ought to show towards Him. He is so mind-blowingly great that He is, “greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints” (Ps. 89:7). Such glory demands a worshipful response, so much so that anger on God's part is the only fitting response when reverence is not forthcoming. We can be grateful that in His infinite self-control He does not express His anger, except to the degree that Moses spoke of. If we wish to please God, we need to ensure that in everything we do we aim to, “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Helping others become aware of the limitless glory of God (and Jesus Christ) should become our driving passion. You can make a difference.

See "Glorify Him!" for more thoughts on the theme contained in this article.


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