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The Wrath Of God

 

Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience (KJV).

The Lord God is slow to wrath because He is Love and longsuffering; nevertheless, His wrath will come on the children of disobedience (see Ephesians 5:3-6 for the full context of the verse).  Why will His wrath come?  To begin with, there is more than one word in the Greek and Hebrew for “wrath.”  In this particular case, wrath is the result of being grieved for a long period of time, which in turn becomes anger.  With anger comes judgment, but there is much more to understand than the ultimate result.

For one thing, unlike man, God is not controlled by anger or any other emotion, which is a very good thing for us.  God is deliberate in the things He does, regardless of His emotions.  The wrath of man is a sudden outburst of anger, fear, or frustration.  Generally, there is little to no thought behind such outbursts.  It is quick, uncaring and destructive behavior.  A person’s thinking returns after the damage has already been done.  Man’s wrath is so quick that he has no time to repent until it is too late.  To repent means to have another thought, to think again, or have a change of mind.  In turn comes a change of behavior.  Until people change the way they think, they are pretty much doomed to repeat their bad behavior.  If they do not completely surrender their emotions to the Holy Spirit, they will continue to have such outbursts.

When the Lord thought to destroy the children of Israel in the wilderness, Moses interceded on their behalf.  As a result, the Word said “The Lord repented of the evil (harm, calamity) which he thought to do unto His people” (see Exodus 32:9-14).  Meaning, He changed His mind because Moses interceded, not because God is wishy-washy.  Scripture clearly says there is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning” with God (see James 1:17).  Furthermore, Scriptures also tell us that there are prayers (intercessions) that He will not heed because His final decision is already in place.  In fact, there are passages where God instructs His prophets not to pray for the people because He would not listen to them (Jeremiah 7:15; 11:14; 14:11).  God’s wrath will come.  That cannot be changed because His holiness demands righteous judgment.  However, He will listen to prayers that plead for sinners because “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, KJV).  If God’s wrath were the same as man’s, man would have no time to repent.  The Lord tells us in Revelation that He even gave Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess and led His servants into sin, space to repent (see Revelation 2:20-23).  Even though there is a wrath of God, the Father provided a way out through Jesus Christ.  If He saved you from eternal destruction, it would be an injustice on your part not to intercede for the lost.  Pray Church, pray!

One final thought: the Bible also declares to us that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; which means God does not experience pleasure with the release of His wrath.  In fact, His anger is the result of having to do what He does not want to do.  It goes way beyond retribution for bad behavior; otherwise, there would be no forgiveness.

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