When is it okay to be angry?

Psalm 2:2,4-5, 10:15, 119:103-104

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In our family devotions at my house lately we’ve actually been reading through the Book of Psalms in the evening and my kids have been kind of surprised about how the psalmwriters talk and what God does. Because sometimes it just seems like there’s some anger. And where does this come from? Is this what I expected from God?

When we hear the psalmwriters saying things like “break the arm of the wicked man” in Psalm 10 or when people are defiantly standing against God in Psalm 2 and saying let’s get away from him.

The kings… and the rulers take their stand. The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath. (Psalm 2:2,4-5)

Anger from God. When is it okay to be angry? Well God, the Holy One, the one to whom is every sin is a complete offense against him. He is able to have anger but who does he have this anger over? What does he have this anger over? He always has anger over sin, over the rebellion that’s against him. And really he would have every right to be angry at the sinner too and to simply destroy them in his wrath.

What would that mean for me and you? It means that we would be destroyed too. But what did God do with this righteous anger over sin? He didn’t come into this world and just start over and destroy everybody. Instead he sent his Son into this world to save the world, to pour out his anger and his wrath over sin and rebellion, on his Son so that he wouldn’t have to pour it out over us. But to forgive our sins.

So what does that mean for us? Is it OK for us to be angry? Maybe this will give some perspective. Listen to Psalm 119 verse 103 and 104 the psalmwriter says:

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. (Psalm 119:103-104)

To be a Christian, in some ways, means to love what God loves: His word, his truth, his forgiveness, him, but also to hate what God hates. To hate sin and to be disturbed when we see things like shootings in churches and just to be upset with that. Now it’s extremely hard for us to be angry without sinning because I get angry when I’m not getting what I want or I run out of patience. Then I get angry and it’s sinful instead of angry at sin. But it’s OK to have a reaction to horrible things going on in this world. God does too.

Question is what do we do with that? We follow the example of psalmwriters who leave revenge in God’s hands all the time. And we follow the example of Jesus and share what Jesus did. The one who forgave sin and point to the one who came in was punished in our place. Leave that anger with God, He’s created peace for you.