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Anger of God

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The punitive and vindicatory reaction, legitimate and controlled, yet awesomely emphatic, of God the righteous judge to unrighteousness in his human creatures. Up to the present, the expression of God’s anger and wrath has had the purpose of drawing sinners to repentance and conversion, but this will not be the case at the final judgment.

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The nature of God’s anger

It is fearsome

Nahum 1:6 KJV 1900
Who can stand before his indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by him.
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It is reluctant and short-lived

Exodus 34:6 KJV 1900
And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
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It is consistant with his righteous and merciful character

Psalm 7:11 KJV 1900
God judgeth the righteous, And God is angry with the wicked every day.
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It fulfils God’s purposes

Jeremiah 23:20 KJV 1900
The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
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The causes of God’s anger

Idolatry and unbelief

Numbers 25:3 KJV 1900
And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.
See also ; ; ; ; ; ; Josiah removes idolatrous shrines; ; ; ; ; ; the unbelief of rejecting the Son of God; ;

Disobedience and disloyalty

Joshua 7:1 KJV 1900
But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel.
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Ungodly living

God’s judgment against the ungodly is a sign of his anger against actions that contradict his righteous character and purposes:

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Pride, arrogance and hypocrisy

Matthew 23:27–28 KJV 1900
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
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Complaints against, and opposition to, God’s purposes

Numbers 11:1 KJV 1900
And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
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Injustice

Zechariah 7:9–12 KJV 1900
Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, And shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; And let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, And stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, And the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: Therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.
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The rejection of God’s servants

Hebrews 10:29–31 KJV 1900
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
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God reveals his anger

In present times

Romans 1:18 KJV 1900
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
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On a future “day of wrath” which is anticipated

Romans 2:5 KJV 1900
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
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The consequences of God’s anger

God allows those who reject righteousness to remain in their sin

Romans 1:18–32 KJV 1900
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
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Punishment will be experienced by rebellious people

Deuteronomy 8:19 KJV 1900
And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
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Punishment of death:

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Punishment of exile:

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Destruction of the whole nation of Israel:

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God will be feared as his holiness and greatness are revealed

Isaiah 59:18–19 KJV 1900
According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, Fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; To the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, And his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
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Ultimately God will purify and restore his people for service

Malachi 3:2–4 KJV 1900
But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, As in the days of old, and as in former years.
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