Anger

anger-18658_640Esther 2:21:  In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.

Be careful. Anger can muddle up the reasoning. The foolish are known for their wrong actions and the bible says that anger lies in the bosom of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:9). A fool regularly allows anger drive him into wrong action, wrong words.

In another place, we read that being able to have control over your anger is a greater achievement than conquering a city (Proverbs 16:32, 25:28). If you cannot conquer your own emotion, then you are a disaster waiting to happen, you will also be a relational mess, regardless of how many cities you have conquered. It is important that you learn to constructively channel your feelings.

But anger is not all bad. Jesus, expressing the anger of his Father made whip and drove people out of the temple who were making use of the house of God for a different purpose than what He wanted (John 2:14-18). He told them: my father’s house should be the house of prayer for all nations but you have made it the den of robbers.

Those who deliver the words of God should have his passion also, because after Jesus whipped the merchants from the temple, the Pharisee asked him: by whose authority do you do these things? When you have the authority of God to speak his word, you should also move with his passion. Jesus came with the authority of God and we see him manifest his passion, representatively and actively.

Jeremiah said that when he wanted to stop talking about the word of God, but eventually he could not help himself because the word of God was like fire shut up in his bones (Jeremiah 20:9). The fiery words were accompanied by the fiery passion of God. The Lord is a consuming fire. You cannot associate with him and not be filled with his passion.

When God sent Jonah to Nineveh to deliver his word, because he did not share God’s passion, he nearly messed things up.

When God wanted to sent Moses to deliver the nation of Israel, he was not enthusiastic about the work. He was not passionate. Moses probably developed anger/resentment against the people of Israel because they did not recognise that he was meant to be their deliverer when he was forty years of age, and now at age 80, he wasn’t interested any more (Exodus 2-4, Acts 7:20-36).

He had to run for his life into exile from Egypt, after he got angry, could not manage the anger and murdered an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite.

So even with God coming with his agenda to do what he wanted to do in His time and with His divine resources, Moses was no longer eager; he was not in the emotional frame of mind to do the will of God. He could not gain God’s enthusiasm because he was still angry with Israel, for not appreciating him (forty years earlier), just as Jonah did not want to preach to the Ninevehans because he was angry with them.

But when God called Paul to preach to the gentile (being a Jew with the reputation of being an hardliner, with little tolerance for the gentiles based on his Judaism heritage) he was converted through the operation of the Holy Spirit into a gentile lover, and so was able to minister effectively to them, carrying the message of God’s love and salvation to them and was persecuted to no end for that.

For Moses, his latent anger against the children of Israel was his own undoing. The anger he did not deal with for many years, dealt with him. The unbearableness of the children of Israel in the wilderness stirred up the little there was of that anger, which he tried to bury over years of herding his father-in-law’s sheep in the wilderness.

He was angry at the children of Israel and that affected his judgment as he foolishly did not do the will of God, when He instructed him to merely speak to a rock to bring water out for the teeming thirsty children of Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 20:1-12). He shredded his reputation as the meekest man on the earth, when due to anger he struck the rock to which God said he should speak.

He fulfilled the words Solomon, that dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour (Ecclesiastes 10:1). A little expression of anger robbed Moses of going to the Promised Land, being God’s punishment for his disobedience.

Anger caused him to not be in tune with God when God wanted him to take his message of deliverance to his people in the land of Egypt and that same anger cost him the Promised Land.

At first he was angry at the oppression of the children of Israel, and not being able to channel that legitimate anger against oppression correctly, he directed it at murder. That has a parallel in our contemporary world in how anger can twist the sense of judgement and people think that the only response to oppression should be violence.

There is something positive about anger when properly channelled. Paul was angry and he cast out a demon inside a girl (Acts 16:10-18). There is something of anger involved in the casting out of devils. The operation of the devil should stir anger, as we side with God to dislodge the devil from his place of dominion in people lives when he causes havoc.

In the temptation of Jesus by the devil, when he asked him to bow down and worship him, Jesus was irritated by that suggestion, and Jesus said: Satan, get lost (Matthew 4:1-11). He does not tolerate the devil in any guise; he is not light on him. We see him say: “you deaf and dumb spirit come out of him (Mark 9:25),” firmly and authoritatively as if reprimanding a small child of misbehaviour, just the way he picked up cane and beat those who were in the temple conducting selling things.

In the letters of Paul to the Corinthian and Galatian church, he used angry tones, at the kind of bad moral and spiritual turn the churches were taking. In the letter that Jesus sent to the seven churches the tone was mostly not “fluffy and all goody-goody (Revelation 2-3),” he used the tone of a disciplinarian, not a letter for the weak-hearted. He spoke as the lion of the tribe of Judah. If you only expect a God that has only sweet words for you, then you are mistaken.

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