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Holy Anger
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I was sure the entire hallway could hear our angry screams. I was also sure they’d heard my voice before; I wasn’t exactly the quietest of girls, and Sally and I always found some way to argue. I love Sally, but that doesn’t stop me from yelling at her. Just the opposite, I argue with her because I care so much about her.

I have the hardest time convincing people that I am showing care whenever I yell at them. If I claim to care about you, you need only check my voice levels when I’m around you for proof. And if I want to punch your face, and express that particular thought aloud, that is the highest form of love I can achieve. If I didn’t care about you, I would be indifferent to the way you treat me or the choices you make. As Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize once said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.”

At a Bible study one Friday night we were discussing Hosea and how God told him to marry a prostitute so that He could show Israel that they had been unfaithful to Him. Some particularly harsh passages in Hosea 2 had my eyes wide open and my hand over my mouth. God spoke of His anger towards Israel—his wife—in vivid language, threatening to expose her and bring charges against her, strip her naked, slaying her with thirst and making her like a desert. I listened to the words with discomfort until we got to verse 13: “ ‘she went after her lovers, but Me she forgot,’ says the Lord.”


Those words made the God of the universe, the Maker of all, sound so… vulnerable. I had been shocked at seeing harsh words come from a God that everyone had told me was loving and compassionate, and then I remembered Sally. I love her so much I could not possibly be indifferent to her. God could have, very easily, sat on his throne in Heaven saying, “Okay, go ahead and make horrible choices that will harm you, I will do nothing to stop you. I don’t care what you do, I’ll be okay, because, frankly, I don’t care about you.” How would you respond if your significant other responded with a careless shrug after you confessed you had been unfaithful? You might wonder, did you ever love me at all?

Instead of not caring, God lowers himself to a negative, lowly emotion, caring so much about his unfaithful bride that He follows her through her unfaithfulness, trying to bring her back, and when she does come back He accepts her with open arms. “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy” Hosea 2:19 NKJV.

God is not indifferent to us, because He loves us. The anger of the Maker of all can seem terrifying, but God’s anger is not like our anger, it is holy anger. It is not impulsive and it is not to be paired with lightning. God’s anger comes from love; God’s anger is love. Best of all, God’s anger may be great, but it is always followed by His even greater compassion. 

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By Raquel Levy. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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