If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:18-19
What we are looking at today is critical for the peace of any person, any family, any school, any community, and any nation.
The wrath of God toward sin and sinners is clearly and widely taught in the Bible. This truth is so interwoven with our hope of peace that if we lose our grasp on one, we lose our hope of the other.
In his book The Cross of Christ, J. I. Packer defines the wrath of God as “His steady, unrelenting, unremitting, uncompromising antagonism to evil in all its forms and manifestations.” He adds in his book Knowing God that “[it is] God’s resolute action in punishing sin.”
The anger of God is not like our anger. When we speak about the wrath of God, remember that it is the wrath of God, so that everything we know about God—He is just, He is love, and He is good—needs to be poured into our understanding of His wrath.
The words anger and wrath make us think about our own experience of these things. You may have suffered because of someone who is habitually angry, a person who loses his temper, sees red, flies into a rage, blows a fuse. Our anger can often be unpredictable, it can be petty, and it can be disproportionate. None of these things are true of the anger of God. God’s wrath is the just and measured response of His holiness toward evil.
Have you suffered under someone’s unpredictable, petty, or disproportionate anger? Thank God that His anger is not like that.