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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Does God Ever Get Angry?

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Don Stewart

There are people who assume that since God is a God of love He would never get angry at anything or anybody. But when one reads the Bible he discovers that God does get angry, He gets angry at sin. God's anger, however, is always under control and is always righteous.

He Gets Angry At Sin

God is portrayed in a variety of images that express anger at sin.

Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with anger, and his burden is heavy; his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue like a devouring fire; his breath is like an overflowing stream, which reaches up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of futility (Isaiah 30:27,28).

God Shows His Anger Toward Individuals

Sometimes God's anger is vented toward individuals. There are other times when He is angry at the nation Israel, and on other occasions His wrath is against those nations who try to destroy Israel. The psalmist records God's anger at the individual:

Your fierce wrath has gone over me; your terrors have cut me off (Psalm 88;16).

He Has Expressed Anger Toward Israel

God expressed anger at the nation Israel for disobeying Him.

And the Lord said to Moses, 'I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiffnecked people! Now therefore, let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them' (Exodus 32:9,10).

God Has Anger Toward The Nations

The prophet Ezekiel records God's anger at Philistia, one of the nations seeking to destroy Israel:

I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them (Ezekiel 25:17).

Since God is a God of love why would He be so offended at sin? It must be remembered that God is also righteous and holy. Sin is offensive to God because His nature is one of perfection.

God Also Extends Mercy To Individuals And Nations

We must stress, however, that God is a God of mercy and forgiveness. When individuals or nations repent of their sin God is willing and able to forgive them of that sin. His anger turns to forgiveness when people come to Him with humble hearts. God has said:

The instant that I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in my sight so that it does not obey my voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit from it (Jeremiah 18:7-10).


God does get angry at times - he gets angry at sin. Yet his angry is a perfect, controlled anger. The Bible says that God is a being perfect in his character. Sin offends his perfect character. When nations or individuals reject his love and goodness, God then becomes angry toward them. When there is genuine repentance God forgives the sinning party. God would much rather grant mercy and forgiveness than express his anger.

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