Does God Ever Get Angry?
The prophet Jeremiah rebuked the priests and false prophets of his day who were deceiving the nation of Judah by preaching "Peace, peace" when there was no peace (Jeremiah 8:10-11). These religious leaders were offering comfort by suggesting that everything was fine, no need for concern, when the truth was that the Lord was preparing to punish a wicked and rebellious nation by bringing the Babylonians against it. Certainly deception can provide comfort…temporarily.
The people in the Huntsville area are being offered comfort which I believe to be deceptive. I have noticed several local billboards which state that "God is not mad at you…no matter what!" That’s a comforting thought, but is it actually true? I believe that it is inaccurate according to the Scriptures and it also encourages a dangerous attitude – that it is impossible to incur the wrath of God no matter what I do!
Does God ever become angry with people? The Lord was angry with Aaron (Deuteronomy 9:20), Israel at Sinai (Exodus 32:9-11; Deuteronomy 9:8, 19) and with Israel in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 9:22). The Lord was angry enough that He intended to destroy the nation and rebuild it from Moses’ descendants!
God blessed king Solomon greatly with wealth and wisdom, but became angry with him when his heart had turned from the Lord (1 Kings 11:9). The Scriptures affirm that God was angry with the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 17:6-18), noting that the nation had provoked the Lord to wrath (vs. 11). He brought the Assyrians against the nation. The southern kingdom, Judah, followed in the steps of Israel, likewise provoking the Lord to anger (2 Kings 22:13).
In summary, "God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psalm 7:11). Does God love men? Certainly. He sent His Son and desires that all men be saved (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). However, no one should think that he can commit sin without incurring the wrath of God!
Note that God’s anger is not arbitrary or petty; He is angry "with the wicked" (Romans 1:18). It appears that the billboard message, that God is not angry under any circumstances, is deceptive. Paul wrote, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 5:6; see also vs. 3-5; Colossians 3:5-6). The Scriptures also tell us that there were be those who will suffer the consequences of the Lord wrath at the final judgment (Romans 2:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:10).
My point is not to say that God is angry with this specific person and not angry with that person. Only God can adequately know a person’s heart to judge him. It DOES seem clear from the Scriptures, however, that God has been angry with many people in the past and there will be people at the judgment who will face His wrath. Maybe these facts don’t make for good billboards, but they are the truth!