“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers… The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him. The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.” Nahum 1:2-8
No one likes to consider the wrath of God, and many have a hard time reconciling His love with any hint of anger or punishment. But the Scriptures teach both as part of His holy character, each as a worthy attribute of the wholly righteous Ruler of all. We struggle with wrath because we do not want to admit we are sinners and deserve it, and we refuse the harshness of torment, misery, and separation. In doing so, we are actually saying we would settle for a compromising God, a less-that-perfect One who winks at sin, whose heaven is not pure. If God truly loves His own and created us for Himself, He cannot settle for our going our own way. Purity cannot exist with vileness, light is inconsistent with darkness. His love and wrath meet and kiss in His mercy. In abounding grace, He has made a way for us to take refuge from the storm of wrath and fly in freedom from guilt. (Luke 16:22-31; Romans 3:10-12,23)
Jesus, the unblemished Lamb, carried the full weight of our sin to the cross, and incurred our deserved wrath in our stead. When we contemplate so great and loving a Savior, and allow the truth of what He has done on our behalf to sink in, we can only fall on our faces in humble gratitude, and adore this Man of sorrows, this Friend of sinners. Proper worship is reverence and veneration for all that God is, every attribute encompassing His whole. (Isaiah 53:3-12; Matthew 11:19; 1 Peter 2:24)
Where am I picking and choosing what I want of God, rather than seeking Him for the whole and holy of Who He is, and worshiping Him there?
“O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.” ~Robert Grant (1833)
Beautiful Lord, thank You that in wrath, You remember mercy. Revive Your work of worship in me. (Habakkuk 3:2)