When you make a list of the things you are thankful to God for, what are the things that usually top the list? Most of us recognize life as a gift from God and so we’re grateful for breath in our lungs and hearts that keep beating. For those who follow Christ, we are overwhelmingly grateful for our salvation. From there we usually add the blessings of family and friends, good jobs, health, enough food to eat, roofs over our heads, and so on. Some who have received grace to endure hardship and come out on the other side have even gotten to the place of being able to thank God for suffering.
But, have you ever been thankful for the WRATH of God? Of all the things we think of to thank God for, “wrath” usually doesn’t make the list. These days, the doctrine of the wrath of God has fallen on hard times. In today’s world, any concept of God’s wrath upsets our modern sentiments. It’s too disconcerting, too intolerant, too “politically incorrect”. We either dismiss the Bible verses that talk about it or try to divide God up into the Old Testament God of wrath being replaced by the New Testament God of love.
And yet the Bible sees God’s wrath, in Old and New testaments, not only as a praiseworthy attribute of God, but one that is necessary. As British writer and theologian J.I. Packer states, “God’s wrath in the Bible is never the capricious, self-indulgent, irritable, morally ignoble thing that human anger so often is. It is, instead, a right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil.” This is no simple issue. Anyone who is honest will admit the difficulty of fully grasping this fundamental truth of the scriptures.
This Sunday we’ll continue in our series, “A Majestic View of the Minor Prophets” and look at the small but powerful book of Nahum which is 99.9% WRATH. I hope you’ll join us and expand your ability to thank God, yes, even for his wrath.
Please plan on staying after the second service to meet Jon and Marilyn Fuller, Valley Church Global Partners serving with OMF. Bring a dish to share for lunch in the Campus Center.
See you Sunday,