Against Whom Is The Wrath of Man?


Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links




Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

‘The wrath of man works not the righteousness of God’ will be the foundation on which this study will be based.
The first thing we will see is that anger, wrath and fury, like every word of God, have both a positive and a negative application. We will learn what are the Hebrew and the Greek words which are translated as ‘wrath, anger, and fury’. We will see the scriptures that demonstrate a few of the Biblical reasons why we become angry.
Then we will consider the fruits of the wrath of man, and we will be brought to acknowledge that regardless of why we become angry, we must admit that our anger, even ‘righteous indignation’, in the final analysis is all of God who is working all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph 1:11).

The positive and negative application of anger, wrath and fury

Anger, wrath or fury, like every emotion, and like every word of scripture, have both a positive and a negative application in the scriptures. Since we generally think of anger as an out of control, negative emotion, I will give a few verses of scripture which demonstrate that even wrath, fury and anger are all Biblical words which all have a positive, beneficial application for us.

The positive beneficial wrath of God

God’s wrath is for one thing only, and that is to judge His people:

Job 19:29 Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.
Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

‘Wrath brings the punishments… that you may know there is a judgment”. In spite of these clear statements that God’s judgments teach men to be righteous, most of us have been taught that we must, at all cost, avoid incurring the wrath of God.
It is true that we are told time again of how God becomes angry, wrathful and vengeful when we disobey Him:

Exo 15:7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee [ the Egyptians]: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
Exo 22:22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.
Exo 22:23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry;
Exo 22:24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

From a completely outward point of view, just imagine the blood that cries out from the ground for the literally millions of our own infants, the “fatherless child[ ren]” whose beating hearts have been stopped in silence by this so- called ‘Christian’ nation. Not to mention the wrath we as a Babylonian ‘Christian’ nation have stored up for ourselves with all of our blasphemous doctrines which make a loving heavenly Father out to be a monster whose thirst for excruciating, unspeakable, eternal torment is apparently insatiable.
So God really is angry, and He is intent upon the destruction of the first Adam within every man.

Num 16:44 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 16:45 Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.
Num 16:46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.

The “atonement for [ Israel]” is for the purpose of appeasing the “wrath [ which] is gone out from the Lord… the plague” with which He will destroy all upon whom His wrath abides:

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath [ G3709, orge] of God abideth on him.

It is through the judgment of our old, rebellious, first- man Adam, that the old man is destroyed, and through that destruction we are metamorphosed into a new creature. The scriptures actually call us a worm, and just like a worm that crawls on its stomach is, through death to that worm, changed into a beautiful butterfly that can now ascend to the heavens, so is God in the process of changing all men.

Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Job 25:5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
Job 25:6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?
Isa 41:14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Here is what the scriptures reveal to be the end product of “the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience”:

Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The seven angels who have the vials of the wrath of God are a “great and marvelous… sign” because, and I repeat:

Job 19:29 …wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.

So while it is true that we must learn not to provoke our Lord to wrath, the only way we can possibly do that is to provoke the Lord to wrath and have “the seven plagues [ which] fill up the wrath of God… fulfilled” in each of our lives. It is a catch 22 situation for our rebellious old man who was created to be destroyed. He is commanded to do what his earthy constitution is incapable of doing:

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

We are twice told that God had already provided Christ as a sacrifice for us. We are twice told that we were called in Christ “before the world began”.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began
Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

The scriptures very plainly teach that we, being born “in Adam”, are born under the wrath of God:

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

That is what we read throughout scripture:

Job 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
Job 16:12 I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.
Psa 88:16 Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
2Pe 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Again the immutable purpose for God’s wrath is to teach us righteousness.

Job 19:29 … wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.
Isa 26:9 …when thy judgments [“wrath”] are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

The positive application of anger within God’s elect

God actually commands those who are His children that they are to “be ye angry”.

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

God does not want us to just sit down and do nothing after He opens our eyes to His sovereign work in the lives of all men. Again, we are given this commandment:

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

In the same manner and in the same spirit, when we witness all the abominations and injustices which we see around us daily, God does not want us to just say ‘Oh well, God is sovereign’. We are commanded to “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath”. We are admonished to “Be ye angry”. We are commanded to have wrath, but we must contain our wrath and acknowledge the hand of God in all things, even all the wicked abominations we witness all about us. “Let not the sun go down upon [ our] wrath” because you and I have been given eyes to see and ears to understand this Truth about the function of the wrath of God:

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Only after the seven vials of the wrath of God have been poured out upon us, are we given to repent of our own abominations, and “be angry… for all the abominations” which are still being committed within those who want to wear the name of Christ, but are not given to want to live by His doctrines or His ways:

Eze 9:4 And the LORD said unto him [ His Christ], Go through the midst of the city [“within you”, Luk 17:20-21], through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Eze 9:5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
Eze 9:6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

This is the ‘wrath that makes us to know that there is a judgment’. This is the judgment that ‘teaches men righteousness’. Once our eyes are open to the abominations being done within the kingdom of God, we are commanded to “be ye angry and sin not”. We are to “sigh and … cry for the abominations that [ are] be[ ing] done in the midst thereof”. We are commanded to “go through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare neither have ye pity. Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women”. That is what we are to do with “every sin and the weight that so easily besets us” in the kingdom of God within us . We are commanded to “begin at My sanctuary, [ and] begin at the” oldest most entrenched sins which are before the house of God, which “house” or “temple” we are:

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any [ ancient] man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy [Eze 9:6]; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

We “work out our own salvation” by participating in the destruction of those sins within us which are committing ‘the abominations that are done within us’. That is one way we are “angry and sin not”. That is the positive use of the emotion of anger within us. If we are judged by God’s wrath now, in this age, we will not be judged by that wrath at a later, less desirable time:

Zep 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Again, God’s wrath is for but one purpose in the end, and that is to chasten us to forsake ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live righteously in this present world.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Tit 2:12 Teaching us [ Greek – paideuo, chastening us] that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Five Hebrew words which are all translated as wrath, anger, and fury

There are at least five different Hebrew words which are translated into English as ‘anger’ or ‘fury’ or ‘wrath’.
The Hebrew word ‘anaph’ is translated variously as anger and wrath. Here is how Strong’s defines this word:

H599
‘aÌ‚naph
aw- naf’
A primitive root; to breathe hard, that is, be enraged: – be angry (displeased).

Here is a verse which demonstrates how this word is used:

Deu 1:37 Also the LORD was angry [ Hebrew, anaph, H599] with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.

This definition, “breathe hard”, reveals the stress that a life of hidden anger and fury places upon the neck of our old man. How sweet it is when we are granted to trade in that angry, furious yoke for Christ’s yoke:

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

‘Aph’ is another far more common Hebrew word also translated as anger, which comes from this same root word. Here is Strong’s definition of that Hebrew word ‘aph’:

H639
‘aph
af

From H599; properly the nose or nostril; hence the face, and occasionally a person; also (from the rapid breathing in passion) ire: – anger (- gry), + before, countenance, face, + forbearing, forehead, + [ long-] suffering, nose, nostril, snout, X worthy, wrath.
This word also has to do with breathing hard, but it is more focused on the instrument of breathing – the nose. Nevertheless it is translated as wrath in this verse:

Gen 27:45 Until thy brother’s anger [ Hebrew, aph, H639] turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?

A third Hebrew word, ‘chemah’ is also translated as fury and anger. Here is Strong’s definition for that word:

H2534
cheÌ‚maÌ‚h cheÌ‚maÌ‚’
khay- maw’, khay- maw’
From H3179; heat; figuratively anger, poison (from its fever): – anger, bottles, hot displeasure, furious (- ly, – ry), heat, indignation, poison, rage, wrath (- ful). See H2529.

This word is connected with the concept of heat, and is sometimes translated as ‘hot displeasure’, as in this verse:

Deu 9:19 For I was afraid of the anger [ aph, H639] and hot displeasure [ Hebrew, chemah, H2534], wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.

A fourth Hebrew word which is translated as anger and wroth is:
H2734
chârâh
khaw- raw’
A primitive root (compare H2787); to glow or grow warm; figuratively (usually) to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy: – be angry, burn, be displeased, X earnestly, fret self, grieve, be (wax) hot, be incensed, kindle, X very, be wroth. See H8474.

This word ‘charah’, like the word ‘chemah’ is also associated with heat or a blaze. Here is an example of how this word is translated:

Gen 30:2 And Jacob’s anger [ Hebrew, charah, H2734] was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?

A fifth Hebrew word for wrath is:
H7107
qâtsaph
kaw- tsaf’
A primitive root; to crack off, that is, (figuratively) burst out in rage: – (be) anger (- ry), displease, fret self, (provoke to) wrath (come), be wroth.

This word carries with it the meaning of breaking off. Here is an example of how this word is most often translated

Deu 1:34 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth [ Hebrew, qatsaph, H 7107], and sware, saying, Deu 1:35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,

The four Greek words translated as ‘wrath’

Our first word is by far the most common Greek word translated as ‘wrath’ in New Testament and it is the word ‘orge’:

G3709
orgē
or- gay’
From G3713; properly desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), that is, (by analogy) violent passion (ire, or [ justifiable] abhorrence); by implication punishment: – anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.

Here are a few verses which demonstrate how this word is used in the New Testament:

Luk 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath [ G3709 orge, desire, ire, anger, indignation] to come?
Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

This next verse uses this Greek word ‘orge’ twice and again associates God’s wrath with His judgments:

Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath [ G3709, orge] against the day of wrath [ G3709 orge] and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

1Th 5:9 tells us we are not appointed to ‘orge’ even though we are told in Joh 3:36 that we are born under the ‘orge’ of God.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath [ G3709, orge], but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath [ G3709, orge] of God abideth on him.

Since none of us are born as believers, we are all born under the wrath of God.
The obvious conclusion is, as the last part of 1Th 5:9 demonstrates, that the word “we” is referring to all men, since it is all men who are appointed to “obtain salvation”.
The verse we are using as our guide for this study translates this Greek word ‘orge’ as ‘wrath’.

Jas 1:20 For the wrath [ G3709 orge] of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Our second Greek word which is translated as ‘wrath’ is:

G2372
θυμοÌÏ‚
thumos
thoo- mos’
From G2380; passion (as if breathing hard): – fierceness, indignation, wrath. Compare G5590.

Here is a verse with this word in it:

Luk 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath [ G2372, thumos, passion, fierceness, indignation]
Luk 4:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

Here now is a verse with both ‘orge’ and ‘thumos’, in the same verse:

Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger [ G3709, orge], wrath [ G2372, thumos], malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

It is very instructive that the English word ‘wrath’, every time it appears from Revelation chapters 12-16, is the Greek word ‘thumos’. Then right at the end of the sixteenth chapter, the chapter with all the seven vials that fill up the wrath, ‘thumos’, of God, we are told this:

Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath [ G3709, orge].

What this demonstrates is that the Greek words ‘orge’ and ‘thumos’ are equivalent words, just as the English words ‘anger’ and ‘wrath’.
This next word is our third Greek word which has the same ‘orge’ root, but is another Greek word which is translated as ‘rage’ or ‘wrath’.

G3950
parorgismos
par- org- is- mos’
From G3949; rage: – wrath.
Here is a verse with this word:

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath [ G3950, parorgismos, rage, wrath]:

Our fourth word translated as ‘wrath’ is:
G3949
parorgizō
par- org- id’- zo
From G3844 and G3710; to anger alongside, that is, enrage: – anger, provoke to wrath.

Here is a verse which has this word:

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath [ G3949, parorgizo, enrage] : but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Four Reasons Why We Become Angry

We become angry because of Jealousy

It appears that the first example of human wrath in scripture is the result of a jealous spirit, which drove Cain to murder his brother, Abel.

Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Gen 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth [ Hebrew, charah, H2734], and his countenance fell.
Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Gen 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

The reason we are given for Cain’s wrath is “… the Lord had respect unto Abel and to His offering, but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect”. Then we hear the Lord tell Cain, ” If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” So Cain had not “done well”. Rather than confess his disobedience and sin, and repenting of that sin, he was jealous of his brother being accepted by God for “doing well” and not sinning against what God had commanded. So Cain killed his brother Abel in a jealous fury.
Joseph’s brothers were jealous of Joseph’s relationship with their father Jacob, and could not even speak peaceably with him:

Gen 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. Gen 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

This is a repeat of what happened between Cain and Abel. The only difference is that Joseph had ten brothers who hated him. This is what is in our own jealous Adamic flesh, and this story is given to us as an admonition for each of us to diligently guard against that very same spirit.
It is so easy to look on what the Lord has given others, whether it is physical possessions or relationships or spiritual possessions or relationships, and to become envious and jealous of what God has given to others, and for our own good, has not given to us.

We become angry because we feel cheated or abused

When we feel we have been wronged we just naturally become very angry and furious, and under those circumstances we never “work… the righteousness of God”.
Jacob certainly took advantage of his brother Esau, making Esau sell him his birthright for a bowl of soup when Esau was hungry, and Jacob outright stole Esau’s blessing from his father Isaac.

Gen 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
Gen 27:42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
Gen 27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;
Gen 27:44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury [ chemah, hot displeasure, H2534] turn away;
Gen 27:45 Until thy brother’s anger [ aph, heavy breathing through the nose, H639] turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?

Esau hated Jacob for the evil Jacob had committed against him. This story happened to Esau, and it is written as an admonition to us to be aware that we, too, will just naturally hate those who cheat us and rip us off and lie to us or about us. It is so easy to become bitter against such people. When we hate those who abuse us, we are hurting no one but ourselves, and we are defiling the temple of God with our bitterness towards our brother who was given to be an unbeliever for our sakes.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

When we are wronged whether by a brother or by those who have never named the name of Christ, that person was given to do that wrong deed “for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
What a blessing it is to know what God is doing; to know what His grace does, and to know that we are to be thankful for that chastening grace and never to become bitter toward the world or toward unfaithful brothers and sisters.

Psa 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
Psa 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
Psa 107:28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Psa 107:30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Psa 107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

We are naturally angry when we feel we are ignored

Baalim’s wrath almost got him killed when he beat his ass which was ignoring his commands:

Num 22:27 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger [ Hebrew, aph, nose, nostril, rapid breathing in passion] was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
Num 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
Num 22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
Num 22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
Num 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
Num 22:32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:
Num 22:33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.

Yes, this is just an ass, but think what would have happened if this had been another person who had ignored Balaam. Just remember what Cain did to Abel for nothing more than jealousy.
Another example of great anger because of being ignored is the story of Absalom whose ambition to dethrone his father caused his anger to be manifested against those who were ignoring him – namely his father King David, and Joab, King David’s captain of his armies.
It was Joab’s initiative that brought Absalom back to Jerusalem, after he had slain his own half- brother, Amnon, for defiling Absalom’s full sister, Tamar. After Absalom was allowed back in Jerusalem, he then insisted on seeing his father King David, but King David had given orders that Absalom was not to be given an audience. So just as we all do when we are denied what we want, Absalom took matters into his own hands:

2Sa 14:29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
2Sa 14:30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.

Absalom’s impatient anger, got him what he wanted for that moment. He was given an audience with his father, but in the end, as is always the case, the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. What it does work is the unrighteousness of our flesh, and as it did with Absalom, when we become impatient because we are being ignored, it will cost us our life.
Job tells us our anger will get us killed:

Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.

It is for our own good that God makes people to ignore us as He tries our patience. If we are feeling ignored it is for our own good. It teaches us patience and in our patience we possess our souls, and in our patience we are being perfected:

Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

This is not an encouragement to ignore your brother or sister. Quite the opposite. Christ ignored no one but His self- righteous persecutors. Let none of us ever fail to respond to a personal call or an e- email from a brother or a sister. That is your own body. But if we are ignored by anyone, whether it is someone in the world or one of our own spiritual family and our own spiritual body, we know that this, too, is a work of our Lord for our own good.

We become angry because of self- righteousness

Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi, who later participated in selling their brother into Egypt and who first wanted to kill their brother, had earlier killed to uphold their self- righteous family honor.

Gen 34:24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
Gen 34:25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
Gen 34:26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out.

This is how Simeon and Levi, justified their own lying and their murder of those to whom they had lied:

Gen 34:31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

We are all naturally self- righteous and can easily justify any evil we set our hearts to do. The way we do this is by convincing ourselves that one evil deed justifies another evil deed, and we are taken with our own self- righteousness.
Saul of Tarsus was an extremely self- righteous man, and he, too, is a type of what is within our flesh:

Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

How did he justify doing this to the most honorable people on earth? He tells us why he wanted to kill his enemies:

Php 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Saul of Tarsus was zealous to persecute the church. He felt very righteous “in the law” doing so, and he was breathing out slaughter in his rage against God’s called out ones.
This is the truth concerning a man who is proud of his own temper:

Pro 19:19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.

God’s punishment of our angry, vengeful, hot- headed, old man will destroy him and will, through that destruction transform him into a new man who will patiently wait upon the Lord.

Psa 37:9 For [ angry, impatient] evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Conclusion

What we must conclude is that whether we are angry because we are jealous of what God has given others, or because we feel we have been cheated or abused by any man, our anger is not really against any man at all. Our anger is really against God Himself who has given to those of whom we are jealous to have those things we wish we had, be it families, friends or possessions and physical wealth or gifts of spiritual knowledge and understanding.
It is also God who made that man or woman to cheat us out of our hard- earned goods, or who has abused us in any way. He it is who has raised up that “stormy wave… [ to] bring us to our wits end”.
When we are angry because we have been ignored and made to feel that we are not worth being acknowledged, or if we are angry with others because we are self- righteous, or because they are self- righteous, again we are not really contending with a brother who is ignoring us. We are really contending with powers and principalities in the heavens, which were placed there by God Himself to do what they are doing in our lives. It is all a work of His great grace, and we must, in time, learn to be grateful for all of our trials.

2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

God’s chastening grace does us no good if we are not thankful for it or if we resent what He is doing to us:

Psa 107:21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Here is a verse which tells us just how strong those powers within us are:

Pro 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

If we hold our brothers responsible for what they do, “Yes even the wicked” (Pro 16:4) we reproving, and condemning our own God. That is what we all do. We get angry with those who offend us, and in doing so we cut ourselves off from Christ and His christ. God has, for our sakes, sacrificed those who He sends to give us all these great trials. If we are God’s elect, then we will humble ourselves before our brothers and sisters, confessing our own sins, and attempting to “win our brother” (Mat 18:15).
This is the truth of how our Lord is using this life preparing us to be a patient, submissive, and a grateful bride for our husband, Christ:

Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Psa 107:21 Oh that [ you and I] would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!


Other related posts