God is love, an incredible truth we learn from Scripture. But God’s love comes in perfect harmony with a more challenging aspect of God’s character: his perfect anger. We see God’s anger numerous places throughout the Bible (both Old and New Testament), but rarely more clearly than in today’s passage. Take a moment to read Exodus 33.12-34.7.
Moses asks to see God’s glory, an impossible request that would actually kill Moses. But God agrees to pass in front of Moses, shielding him with his hand and proclaiming his character (Exodus 34.6-7). These verses hold in perfect tension God’s compassion and his wrath. God’s anger is the perfect expression of his character towards injustice. He’s not embarrassed or ashamed of his anger—it’s part of his glory and character.
God’s anger isn’t like ours. He never loses his temper or overreacts. He sees the full weight of every injustice and his anger is perfectly commensurate with the injustice performed. And if we’re honest, we want God to be angry. Imagine a world with no punishment for injustice. We hope that somehow, someway, God will aright all the evil that’s taken place on our planet.
Accountability must come from somewhere, and it ends in the perfect wrath of God. This reality is sobering because we all deserve the wrath of God. We’ve all rejected God at some level and have sought our own way. It’s at the cross that the love of God and the wrath of God collide.
Consider this week’s One Big Question: Why is it difficult to talk about the anger of God? Be sure to discuss this with your small group or your family around the dinner table. May the awesomeness of God’s anger and wrath increase in your eyes the power and love of the cross of Christ.