The article “Harlot’s Homecoming” addresses an apparent contradiction: how can God be filled with anger and be a loving father of His children? After all, the general belief of Christians is pretty clear: those who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are saved while all others are sentenced to hell. With this in mind, is God really as loving as we make Him out to be and resultantly has righteous anger or is He just some selfish being who damns people for eternity simply because we choose not follow Him? This question can be answered by the grace and love He shows us.
A friend once shared with me a passage from her devotional. She was looking at Leviticus 26:40-45:
But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord.
She explained that even when the Israelites chose to walk away from God, He always remembered the covenant He formed with Isaac and Abraham. And as such, He showed them grace even in His anger. The love shown was completely undeserving and yet that is the power of grace. We simply do not deserve grace. We do not deserve any of the blessings He showers us with in light of our sins, but He still continues to do so.
This passage exemplifies a common theme throughout the Bible: as sinful humans, we constantly make mistakes that incur God’s wrath. And this wrath in itself is justified simply because humans keep making mistakes. He is always giving us chances and instructions as to what we should be doing through the messages He sends us, but all throughout history, man fails to listen. It’s only natural that God would be angry at us. Imagine parents having a child and they pour out all of their love on that child. But the child constantly disobeys the parents all throughout his or her childhood. These acts of disrespect and rebellion would anger any parent. And yet, even through these constant acts of rebellion, the parents still loves the child. No matter what mistakes the child makes, the parents will always be willing to accept the child back. That is the relationship exhibited by our Father God. The Bible shows a multitude of stories where humans constantly make mistakes that disappoint our Lord, but He still shows us grace.
God’s anger and disappointment is thus legitimized by the fact that an unjust act was done to Him. Anger is the natural reaction to such. We have thousands of years of history of disobeying God, but He was still willing to forgive us by sacrificing Jesus Christ on the cross for us. God takes the extra step towards us by showing grace and forgiving us even in His anger. God’s loving demeanor is what makes God’s anger not only justified, but also understandable.
Andrew Wang is a rising junior from Cleveland, Ohio studying Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. His workout regimen involves lifting heavy objects and late-night jogs during prime kidnapping hours.