Judging God

6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty! … every human heart will melt, 8and they will be dismayed…9See, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy its sinners from it. 11 I will punish the world for its evil… (Isaiah 13)

Some Christians struggle with Bible passages like this one.  They assert that the God of the Old Testament (OT) is angry while the God of the New Testament (NT) is loving.  This does not sound right to me. Did God change?  I did a Bible word search on the ‘anger’ and ‘wrath’ of God.  From my search I found 270 counts of God’s ‘wrath’ with only 33 occurring in the NT!  When I searched ‘anger’ I found 329 hits with only 3 in the NT.  Maybe I was wrong? Maybe God changed when Jesus came along?

Not so! I investigated further by checking the context of each example.  Almost without exception, each reference to God’s anger was in response to human sin and pride.  God’s seeming perpetual anger is not a comment on His character but our behaviour.  Our God is a loving God. His love demands that all love.  His love is angered when people do not love.  His judgement comes from His love.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

Let’s stop judging God and start telling people about God’s love before it may be too late.

Denis Oliver