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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Anger and God's Promise

The Bible Promise Book
Barbour Publishing 1990

We begin a study of God's promises. I have taken the scriptures from the above mentioned book, expanded a few of them for context, and added my own commentary. The first one, in alphabetical order, is:


Psalm 145:8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

The first thing we see is that God, whom we desire to emulate, is slow to anger.

Nehemiah 9:13-17 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

Even in the face of disrespect and downright arrogant disobedience, God is slow to anger. As soon as His anger passes, which is soon, He graces with joy.

Psalms 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
James 1:19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

James advises us of ways to avoid the angry outburst and how to avoid causing strife. Solomon then advises us to remember and use patience.

Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. We also begin to see in Proverbs that the wise stay away from evil which we will explore more deeply further on and that the angry behaving man is likely to be foolish and hated.

Proverbs 14:16-17 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
Proverbs 16:32-33 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. Proverbs 15:18-19 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

I have a Pyracantha Bush next to my front door. I have to trim it or I cannot go in and out the house without getting stabbed, and I do mean stabbed, if any know the pyracntha, they know how I mean. So I trim the bush occasionaolly, just occasionally enough to keep it back and allow me egress and ingress and to mow my yard without flatting the tires on my mower. But the trimming is absolutely no fun for without great care you get stabbed, and then after trimming and during cleanup, even with heavy gloves on, the thorns will often pierce the leather and prick your palm.
I think you will have to read KJV on this verse and the next to understand my comments, TNIV has a very decidedly different take here below and above.
What I read in the following scripture is that when kindness, fairness and justice are used to train an employee, that employee will become like your own child in respect to you. Angry people cause much descension, but an humble person gains honor.

Proverbs 29:21-23 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length. An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Psalm 37:5-11 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Be faithful to God and He will grant you your desires and His righteou8sness will be yours to use as a light for your paths.
The wicked prosper only temporily and we will soon be wondering what has happened to them.

Proverbs 22:24-29 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee? Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

Here we are given some helps to keep us from developing inappropriate anger responses both in ourselves and others and to become Peacemakers.

Proverbs 15:1-3 A Soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

God knows when we have been bad or good, so...

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Ephesians 4:26-27 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. So anger is not the sin it is what the inappropriate response to or in anger leads us that is the sin.

Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

A discreet man avoids angry outbursts and shares forgiveness.

Proverbs 21:19-21 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman. There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up. He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

A man who dwells alone in a desert place where no thorny bushes can grow is better of that one who must put up with a contentionus person. A responsibility met prevents the disease of bitterness, disallutionment and discourgemt from blowing anger into a sinful situation.

Jesus gives us some idea of the consequences of inappropriate anger expression.

Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

We then read that we should let off angry attitudes and behaviours and habits and instead endorse the good things of God.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Romans 12:19-21 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Proverbs 25:21-22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.

Above we even read both from Jesus and from the Old Testament that loving our enemy is what we should be about.

Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Colossians 3:8-17 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

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