And He called the merciful blessed, and the peacemakers children of God
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God
It has came to my attention in the past few days that offences are being committed against me. Indeed I am being treated in an unfair and appalling manner. As far as I am aware it is undeserved- though as I am not the One who knows the complete Truth I could never be so conceited as to state that for certain. The Truth has never belonged to me- I only walk in it by grace. However, suffice it to say, the behavior towards me is unjust. I can say this confidently as I know my God doesn't look upon unkindness with favour. He never credits any justification for it- not even the severest of provokation. No, He is a God who is just and fair in all His ways, He has never committed a wrong and He loathes harmful intent. He loathes it so much so that He even burns with righteous anger at it. I know this well enough to know that it is best that I don't respond in a hateful way, for if the damage of insult causes me to sin my Lord will hold me accountable to Him, and I will reap the discipline for my own arrogant and mislead brand of justice. In this instance my sin would be first and foremost against my God.
Indeed God tells us exactly what not to do in this situation in His Word,
"In your anger do not sin" (Eph 4:26)
The important thing to note here is that we are not told to not be angry. In fact there is a lot of guilt attached to feeling the emotion of anger, and this only leads to a sense of frustration and hopelessness, unworthiness. However, God does not approach anger in this way. He has not outlawed it here, though He has outlawed sinning. This is not a mistake. God doesn't make those. If He had willed the scripture to read "Do not be angry and do not sin" it would have done so. God is absolutely sovereign over His Word, and each word is there on His say so! So now that we've made that clear lets look at why God doesn't give the big heave- ho to anger. He doesn't do so because anger is a perfectly normal and healthy response to injustice and wrong- doing. God Himself feels anger, thought the Bible does tell us He is slow to anger. Here are some examples of God's anger and why it manifests:
- Micah 5:15: “And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations which have not obeyed.”
Micah makes it clear that God is angry because peoples have not obeyed His commands and lived a Godly life. Execute, vengeance, anger and wrath all in one sentence...? Anyone still claiming God doesn't do angry? And if He does- how can it be ungodly?
- Jeremiah 21:5: “I, Myself will war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger and wrath and great indignation.”
This verse from Jeremiah shows God's response to anger and it's not tame- though exacted and disciplined. In this passage God tells the unfaithful people through the prophet Jeremiah, that He will use their own weapons against them. That's a warning for anyone an artilary of sins awaiting deployment, whether "defense" or "friendly fire", God does not condone vigilanti soldiers. Such behavior renders us rebels- a synonym for rebel is snake. Getting a clear picture yet? Taking the law in our own hands only makes us a rebel, and as soon as we become a rebel we are on the same side as the serpent, Satan himself.
So what's the deal with God's anger then??
The deal is, that God's anger is rigtheous. In other words it is a right anger. It s the response of an entirely and eternal holiness to wickedness and rebellion against the Creator and Sustainer Himself and anger is as much God's right to possess as justice and vengeance is His to execute- and He does. Romans 12:19 tells us,
"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord."
Deuteronomy 32:35 is the scripture Paul refers to above,
"It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them."
These scriptures can leave us in no doubt that God does anger, but that He alone will carry out justice. He alone is all together fair, all- seeing and all- knowing. We should not play with fire by instigating a rebellion. Jesus tells us,
"Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well." (Mat 39:40)
We must not sin in our anger, and we must repent and call on God's mercy when we do, because even though we do become angry, righteously or unrighteously and fan the flames of indignant rage and wounded pride, justice is not ours to take and the flames of the indignant fire will only burn us.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.”
It is only this kind of purity and holiness, integrity and fairness, goodness and mercifulness that can bring about true justice. As always, the Lord will act to redeem us, though we must wait and pass our hunger for vengeful destruction to Him
"The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exo 14:14)
Meditate upon these for encouragement from the Lord Jesus Himself. Notice who He refers to as blessed, and take comfort from knowing that God's Word is absolute and if He calls you blessed because you fit the description below then you are indeed blessed. God would know- He gives the blessings Himself!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God. (The beatitudes. Mat 5)
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