March 23, 2019
But now you must put them all away…anger…
God gets angry. Jesus got angry. Searching the Scriptures for instances of divine anger turns up many dozens of instances, which together present a sobering, even frightening, picture of God’s wrath, and culminate in Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13-16), an indication that God’s anger is not restricted to the Old Testament.
Paul warns us, however, in Colossians 3:8 (today’s verse), and in virtually all of his other letters, against anger. James, in his epistle (James 1:20), David (Psalm 37:8) and Solomon (Ecclesiastes 7:9) echo the warning. Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:22), that anger brings only judgment. Why can’t we get angry, especially when we are faced with clear injustice or outrageous ungodliness? God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent; he is the perfect judge, and he will render judgment against all unrighteousness. We would do well to remember that the fall came when we ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the temptation being, “You will be like God…” which is still, today, the ultimate temptation for us.
Being, however, not omniscient, not omnipresent, and not omnipotent, we are imperfect judges, and the presumption to judge places us under judgment. Man’s anger, or worse, actions taken in anger, usurp God’s rightful role. As Paul writes: Leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)