Marc Lang, Marriage Ministry and Celebrate Recovery
It took a couple readings through these chapters as this has always been a hard section for me to read. I’ve read these as a picture of an angry and vengeful God and it has previously reinforced some of the negative views I had where God was a punitive force in my life.
After the fourth try, I started to see a larger picture of God. Yes, God was angry, but we can’t expect a holy God to be anything less than angry with sin. Beyond the anger, God’s love comes through in His consistent warnings to the people to repent and turn from their sin. He goes out of His way to try to get them to change, even putting His prophets in harm’s way to do so. Seeing this helped me reconcile the anger of God in the Old Testament with the loving God of the New Testament. God is angry with the sin in the world. At the same time, He is consistently calling us back to a relationship with Him through repentance. The love is there even in the midst of His anger.
At the end of these readings, Jeremiah 46:28 reads “Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, for I am with you,” declares the Lord.” So here is the faithful and comforting God I am more comfortable with. At the same time, I confess my need for the God who will be angry with the sin in my life and direct me to repent. While I enjoy the comfort of His presence, I know I will grow more as I listen to the changes He wants to make in my life. My prayer today is that the Holy Spirit’s voice is loud enough in our lives to change us into the people Jesus is calling us to be.