Does a Loving God Get Angry?
My Servant Moses
So what angers God? God is the epitome of love and compassion, yet there are things that make him angry. If we are to walk with God in covenant and love him, then we need to know what makes him upset. And the scriptures clearly outline the attitudes and behaviours that anger God. Moses had a special intimate working relationship with God. But, Moses’ initial reaction to being called by God to bring Israel out of Egypt was less than eager willingness. Moses made excuses and was full of self-doubt even after God’s “pep-talk.” God was angry with Moses diffidence and uncertainty, but he was patient and willing to work with Moses and provide support. Aaron, Moses’ brother, would do the speaking for Moses. Eventually, this overcame Moses’ hesitation and reluctance to do what God had asked. Are we eager to do the tasks that God has given us to do? Or, do we anger God with our reticence or insecurity in doing a job God has designed for us?
Life in the Wilderness – Spirit of Discontent
Life was tough for the Israelites in the wilderness. Yet, they had seen amazing miracles. God had prepared for their every need, providing water, and nourishing them with manna, “angel’s food” that tasted like honey and coriander. So, when some of the naysayers in the camp began to complain and demand “meat,” God was not pleased. When their whining and griping started to infect the whole camp with a spirit of discontent and rebellion, God became angry. God was the source of their freedom, their deliverer from the bondage of slavery. He had given them every blessing. So what angers God? It was the spirit of ingratitude and the lack of appreciation for God’s good gifts that was infuriating. Are we suffering from a spirit of discontent? Or, are we appreciating God’s goodness in our lives?
Lessons from a Two-faced Prophet
Balaam, was a classic example of a spiritual leader who wanted to have a relationship with God, but was enticed by the allure of worldly wealth. He became a spiritual con-artist, trying to weasel his way around God’s specific instructions. In his self-willed audacity he showed contempt for God’s commands. God was angry because Balaam was perverse. Pretending to be a prophet, a spiritual guide, Balaam loved the reward that King Balak had promised for cursing Israel in direct opposition to God’s clear command. Do we struggle with being double-minded and succumbing to the allure of material rewards that keep us from obeying God? Or, are we whole-hearted in our love of God and his ways?
Balaam, and the Israelites who were disrespectful and disobedient were hardened by their sins. Their negative attitudes and corrupt behaviour were what angers God. And, though he offered mercy and a chance to overcome their weaknesses, they refused to put their faith in God. Eventually, due to their unbelief they failed to inherit the promises that God had offered. We have their examples as warnings to avoid their mistakes. We demonstrate our love for God by single-mindedly doing the things that please him, the things that will ensure our well-being.