When coupled with His anger and fury, this biblical theme, reflecting an attribute of God, outnumbers references to His love. In other words, God has revealed much about His righteous wrath to us.
God is angry with the wicked every day (Ps 7:11), and His hatred toward sinners is announced (Ps 5:5; 11:5).
Many will say, “Well, I like the God of the New Testament better than the God of the Old Testament.” Their reasoning pertains to the word of the Old Testament prophets, summarized by John the Baptist’s, “flee from the wrath to come!”
Of course, the other problem with the majority assessment is they never actually read the New Testament! Clearly, they have received opinions from men or sat through sappy, sentimental sermons on God’s love.
God’s love is holy, and it disciplines those He chooses to set it upon (Heb 12:6). God’s love is parental, rather than erotic. Even when it is viewed in a marital sense, with Christ in Ephesians 5, the themes are submission, sacrifice, and respect.
Still, is it reasonable to say one loves the wrath of Almighty God?
Recently, there has been a swell of righteous anger against sexual predators and abusers. So, we object. We protest. We march. Wherever people are compelled to march in mass public demonstrations, they are grumbling and murmuring against injustice. The problem is that nobody marches in protest against his or her own self!
We are all unjust. That includes you and me. We all deserve the wrath of God (Rom 1:18). Why are we not clamoring for God to execute justice on ourselves? Where are the marches demanding justice from God regarding us?
We love justice, and its corrective consequences when applied to others…especially others we think are viler and more deserving than ourselves. The truth is that every day people are storing up wrath for the day of judgment…His judgment of them (Rom 2:5). God will prosecute every person for their deeds done in their flesh (life).
Who can deliver us from the wrath to come? Only Jesus Christ (1 Thess 1:10), the righteous one, has the way of deliverance. It is the way of the cross, whereby, He offers Himself as a substitute sacrifice for the sins of His people (Mt 1:21; Rom 5:8; 1 Pet 2:24). He endured the wrath of God in His crucifixion. He did not deserve it, but He went of His own will, in order to pay-in-full, our debt of sin (Col 2:14). God executed the wrath we deserve, upon the sinless Lamb of God (Jn 1:29; Heb 4:15), the propitiation for our sins (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10).
At the cross, many of the attributes of God are displayed. Wrath, mercy, love, righteousness are just a few. God is righteous to punish Jesus Christ because He (Jesus) was made to be sin for us (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 3:18). Sin must be punished under the wrath of God for God to remain righteous under His own Law. Thus, He is just to punish sinners; and in hell, His wrath is seen to be eternal (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15). His wrath endures forever.
Wrath is essential to God’s character, and His character does not change (Heb 13:8). He is eternally immutable. Wrath poured out on vessels deserving wrath is comforting for those who have been delivered from His wrath (Rom 9:22–23). It proves God is just, and although He is slow to anger and wrath, He metes it out, perfectly (Ex 34:6; Ps 103:8).
When God has mercy on a person, forgives her sins, and delivers her from eternal wrath, then she fears God. The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, and Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24), through whom we rightly understand the wrath of God.
Thank God He is wrathful. Otherwise He would be unjust and capricious like we are as guilty sinners. If you grimace at man’s version of justice, then imagine a moody, all-powerful deity. That is the God of Islam, and He is terrifyingly unstable because he is made in the image of his followers.
This is why I love the wrath of God because it is always a display of our good God, who is righteous in all His ways and workings. You should love His wrath, too, for this is our holy and unchanging God. If you do not love His wrath, then you will surely endure it for all eternity.
Spokane Valley, Washington
February 15, 2022