"Now when the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, the LORD heard it and his anger was kindled. Then the fire of the LORD burned against them, and consumed some outlying parts of the camp." (Numbers 11:1)
If I am reading this passage right, it says that God got angry and started burning things down. Isn't that interesting.
I find it interesting that God got angry. If you were ever given the impression that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath and punishment and the God of the New Testament is a God of love and compassion, please discard it now. It's the same God throughout; a God as capable of anger in the New Testament as Jesus was when he trashed the Temple (see John 2:13-17).
Actually, we find God getting angry a lot in the Bible. And threatening destruction. Sometimes, God's anger was the only thing that turned the people around.
We shouldn't dismiss the anger of others. We all get angry sometimes, perhaps even angry enough to break things. While I will not advocate for wanton destruction, remembering how angry God could get makes me at least want to understand what is behind someone's anger.
From my reading of the stories of God's anger, God got angry when God's people behaved badly. God got angry when they complained against God, or worshiped other gods, or mistreated one another. Through the law and prophets, and through Jesus Christ, God has shown us how to live together and make the best world possible. When we turn our backs to God's path, God gets angry.
We should get angry, too. The world is not the way it ought to be. And sometimes getting angry over the way things are may be the only path to change.
Worship This Week
Thursday, June 18, 6:30pm, on the north sidewalk
Sunday, June 21, 9am in the Peace Garden and on Facebook Live
"Walk in Newness of Life"
If you choose to join us in person, please wear a mask and practice social distancing
Keep In Prayer:
Ruby Reiger, Janet Santana
Our shut-ins: Harriett Ryerson, Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne