And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
[Exodus 32:9-11 NKJV]
On our visit to South Kintyre last week, I ran into an old friend who we knew from our days at Springbank Evangelical Church. A lovely man, on fire for God and after initial greetings we were sharing what The Lord has been revealing to us in recent times.
Several things he said made me take notice, and one in particular — about God’s wrath. Now it has always puzzled me that such a loving God should be so angry and punish so many for their sin. What our friend said was that, in the New Testament Greek the word translated at ‘wrath’ was orgē, meaning ‘desire’ or ‘violent passion’, which by implication speaks of anger, but this is anger coming from a great love for His people — God fervently wants us to overcome sin and seek His help in so doing. No wonder He calls us “a stiff-necked people”!
I looked this up in the Old Testament for confirmation and found that in our headline passage from Exodus, ‘wrath’ is the translation of אַף ’ap̱ meaning ‘the nose or nostril’; hence, the face, and occasionally a person; also (from the rapid breathing in passion) ire.
Father God’s wrath comes from His almighty desire to see His children succeed, just as any father would. This is anger born out of passionate love, and on a scale that is difficult for us to comprehend fully.
“Lord I Deserve Thy Deepest Wrath” — Basil Manly (1850), music by Nathan Drake.
OSWALD CHAMBERS — RUN TODAY’S RACE
Monday 3rd August 2020
Jesus Christ can make the weakest man into a Divine dreadnought, fearing nothing. He can plant within him the life that Time cannot touch.