Scripture Reading: Leviticus 11:1-12:8 / Mark 12:13-27 / Psalm 30:1-7
Has anyone ever been angry with you? I hope you didn’t have the same experience like the woman who was bitten by a rabid dog and told she was going to die from rabies. The doctor told her to put her final affairs in order so the lady took out a pen, paper and began writing furiously. After a few minutes the doctor said, “That sure is a long will you’re making.” She snorted back, “Will, nothing! I’m making a list of all the people I’m going to bite!”
That is one lady I would not want to be angry with me! We tend to avoid people with “anger issues” and “walk on egg shells” when in their presence. Surprisingly, mankind seems to be more concerned with the anger of their fellow man than with the anger of God. David came to a time in life when he experienced God’s divine and powerful anger. He disobeyed God’s command, looked to his own strength instead of God's strength and numbered Israel.
God responded with a possible judgment of either 7 years of famine, 3 months of fleeing from his enemies or a 3-day plague. David asked to fall in the merciful hands of God instead of the vengeful hands of man so God sent a 3-day plague on Israel. The death angel finally stopped at Araunah’s threshing floor, the place where the temple would be built. David wrote Psalm 30 as a dedication song for the temple.
Out of the depth of his repentance and severity of his sin, David writes, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) Unlike man, God doesn’t become angry in the “heat of the moment” or because He has extreme emotions. Selfish and vindictive feelings often instigate man’s anger but God’s anger is a warranted and righteous response to sin.
God does get angry but it is for judgmental, corrective and disciplined reasons. He responds like a loving father not a vengeful enemy. When we confess and repent of our transgressions, God forgives us of our sin, forgets our sin and does not hold it against us. His anger is quickly settled and His favor is entrenched for a lifetime!
David had a heart for God and longed to please Him. He was broken because of his sin and grieved in the nights...weeping may last for a night. Sleeplessness, racing minds, pain, hopelessness and frustration attack us during the night. We toss and turn in desperation but eventually the struggle subsides with the rising of the sun.
Nights don’t last forever but are regulated by God. He sends the glory of His grace to awaken us and direct our steps. Our weeping and sadness give way to a new day of hope, fresh perspective and joyful expectation. Jesus took upon Himself the judgment of our sin so we can live in the embrace of a forgiving God. May our hearts respond to His anger in brokenness and sorrow… giving way to His favor and joy!