I’ve been mulling over the idea of “the wrath of God” this afternoon. Here are a couple of thoughts I’m thinking and want to put out there to you.
First, on the one hand, it seems that God is love, slow to anger, and his mercies are new every morning…there can’t be room for his wrath, right? However, it also seems clear that Scripture attests to the fact that God does get angry and that he does have wrath. However, I think we have to be very careful in assuming God’s anger and wrath is comparable to that of humanity. He is not a raging mad man who unleashes fury on anyone and everything in his path, like a toddler who doesn’t get their way. Neither is he a methodical sadistic being who tortures people. I’m thinking his wrath is in categories of which we are not even sure how to speak or name.
Second, and this one is more what I’m wrestling over, to some God’s liberating love is felt as God’s wrath. When God liberates the oppressed and sets them free, as long as the oppressors stand in opposition to God, then I imagine that liberating and reconciling love that draws God to set people free is experienced as wrath to those who hold people in bondage and remain opposed to God. In other words, if we step on, marginalize, and oppress others, turn from God and oppose him, then his love feels a lot more like a consuming fire than streams of mercy.
So, throwing those out there. What do you think?