READ: Job 22-24, Psalm 7, Luke 24, Revelation 8
ANGER AND JUDGMENT
The fall of man has spoiled many good things of God, among them anger and judgment. These two words have an almost inescapable negativity to us. We equate anger with sin and judgment with punishment. Yet a perfect eternal God is always good, and His goodness is not bound by the fall of man. Ergo, if God is angry and if God judges, there must be attending, inherent goodness in it.
The psalmist calls for the anger and judgment of the Lord to rise. “Arise O Lord in your anger. Rise up for me to the judgment you have commanded” (Psalm 7:6). Afraid and confused on the nature of God’s anger, we are reluctant to call for it to be applied. Cowed by a worldly abuse and misunderstanding of the wrath of God, we are embarrassed at our God for not having the composure to keep control of His temper. But God is altogether “unique, who can make Him change” (Job 23:13)? There is an aspect of God that appropriately terrifies us (v. 16). God would not be God if there was not an aspect of Him that scared us witless. God is “a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11). It is shameful of us to be ashamed of God’s anger. Rather than trying to cover up, apologize for the anger of God, we need to unflinchingly embrace it, call for it, warn others of it. For God to be angry is a good thing. God’s anger reminds us He loves us enough to attack our enemies.
God’s judgments likewise are love. We shudder at the judgments of God for we misunderstand them. Judgment is a high form of mercy. When God judges us, He divides out our sin. Judgment is divine surgery. God carefully puts us on the operating table of love, searches out the gangrene in our spirit, and carefully cuts it out. Of course there is pain, both in the process and the recovery, but it is the pain of life, the pain of being loved. God has loved us enough to cut out of us the things that were killing us. What fool is ungrateful to the surgeon who has saved his life by cutting out a poison, a virus, or a tumor? Yet we continually whine at the judgments of God, the very acts that save us from ourselves.
God’s judgments also protect us from others. Our defense is of God (Psalm 7:10). God will cut others out of our lives if they are doing damage to our souls. This obviously applies to the outright wicked, the predators, the evil hunters. It also applies to good men and women. God in His tender shepherding of us, sometimes removes those who in their kind heartedness are damaging our growth, limiting the stretching of our souls. This judgment is hard to recognize, but can be the kindest of all.