Why Does God Show Such Anger?

While God’s wrath is revealed all throughout the King James Bible, there are many points, particularly in the books of Old Testament, that might give us pause for thought.

In Numbers 11:1, when the Isrealites are wandering through the wilderness with little to eat and drink, they complain to Moses about their living conditions. And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. Could this be God revealing a frustration of sorts, that he had delivered them from Egypt and was delivering them to the promised land, only to have them bicker and complain along the way? Or perhaps, some suggest, these biblical accounts don’t fully describe the way people “complained” at the time – the word complain might be a sort of shorthand to describe much more grievous sins like theft and murder. In effect, they were keeping themselves away from the promised land, which went against God’s design.

There’s Deuteronomy 29:27, The anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book. And II Kings 23:26’s in fierceness of his great wrath, we lay witness, over and over again, to the non-benevolent side of the creator.

Of course, there is God’s desecration of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Great Flood in Genesis that wiped off every living thing besides that which was in the ship of Noah. These examples live on, to this day, as the most famous of God’s wrathful actions.

II Samuel 6:6, God kills Uzzah for accidentally touching the ark after being commanded not to. And we might ask ourselves if this is fair, if this is not an overreaction, or just plain brutal for no good reason?

But Paul describes such bouts of anger in Ephesians 5:6 as just, for cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Yes, even in the case of Uzzah, they say that God has his mysterious ways.

But if man was made in God’s image, then perhaps we can expect him to act in ways that are sometimes like our own. Sometimes we behave in ways that create harm, that kill, and that destroy. Often times, these impulses in us come from very unhealthy places, but at other times there is justified anger that propels us to do such actions. In God’s case, it can certainly be argued that these impulses are designed to deliver an ultimate good, even though the participants at the time (and readers of these accounts in later times) were not able to fully understand them.

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