God's Wrath

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“Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:6, NIV84)

Wrath is not a defect in the divine character; rather, it would be a defect if wrath were absent from Him. Those who see God's wrath as petulance or retaliation, inflicting punishment just for the sake of it or in return for some injury received, do not really understand it. Divine wrath is not vindictiveness; it is divine perfection, issuing forth from God because it is right.

Human beings tend to make God in our own image. He made us in His image, but we want to return the compliment, and it is there that so often we go wrong. Instead of reasoning from the divine down to the human, recognizing that sin has marred the divine image within us, we reason from our fallen condition and project our own feelings and ideas onto God. Thus, when thinking of the wrath of God, we tend to look at what happens in our own hearts when we get angry, and we imagine God to be the same. But divine anger must never be confused with human anger.

Most of what goes on in our hearts whenever we are angry is a mixture of unpredictable petulance, retaliation, hostility, and self-concern. God's anger is always predictable, always steadfast, and always set against sin. We must never forget that God's nature is uncompromisingly set against sin. We may tolerate it; He never.

Sin has been defined as "God's one great intolerance," and for that we ought to be eternally grateful. As His children we ought to rejoice that He will not tolerate anything that is harmful to us.

Source: Lifeway Devotional, January 6, 2012

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