(This reading is based on Psalm 85 and is read in accordance witht the Rivived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDA)
"Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?" Ps 85: 5
We are our greatest threat; not God. I note that although this chapter starts out with an acknowledgement of God's favour to His people; it still speaks after that of God's anger. That does not add up to me. So I'd like to share two perspectives on God's anger:
Anger Perspective No. 1
Imagine this: you and your kids are at a beach. You suddenly remember that you brought a special gadget that you forgot in the car, and you decide to go back for it. Your gut feeling was that you should have the kids go back with you, but you couldn't get the words out before the protests begin; there was some real excitement going on in the water and they wanted to "watch." You relent, but insist that they do not go into the water without you. After all, they are teenagers... young yes, but teenagers - and you're not going far anyway. Still a bit uneasy, you hurry. But as quick as you were... you can imagine the rest of the story - suffice it to say that you were just in time take fetch your son who was experiencing some difficulty in the water. He denies he was in trouble, but you know what you saw. But that's not even the point; the point is, "I TOLD YOU TO WAIT ON ME! WHAT IF...?" Saving your son's life was never the issue. Although you're relieved that you were just in time, you're angry because he refused to follow your instructions that were meant for his protection.
God knows the danger of sin (it brings death), and gets anxious (angry even) when He sees us toying with it - being irrationally unmindful of its danger.
Anger Perspective No. 2
The anger that is here ascribed to God could very well be coming from within us. Have you ever been angry with yourself for doing something stupid - and for no good reason at that! It gets worse when you keep doing this same stupid thing over and over again. It's only rational that God would Himself be angry with us. So sometimes we think we shouldn't even bother to seek His forgiveness, because we're going back anyway. This is a dangerous place to be; being angry with ourselves that we may even decide to pull the plug on our spiritual quest.
It's important that we know that God's mercy is available to us. His Grace is not extended to us because He knows that deep down we're good; His Grace is extended because we're NOT good; because left to ourselves we'll all drown in the sea of sin like the Egyptians.
Father, I want to walk in Your footsteps today. I want to go wherever You go, be wherever You are, and do whatever you bid and would Yourself do. Help me I pray, in Jesus' name, amen.
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