Christian Churches of God
(Edition 2 19940923-19980523)
This work is on the types of anger referred to in the Bible and the way in which we should react to and use anger in our Christian lives.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1994 revised 1998 Storm Cox)
(Summary edited by Wade Cox)
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The word for anger SHD2734 ‘harah’ in the Bible is a verb meaning ‘to get angry’ and in the causative stem it means ‘to become heated’ or ‘with zeal for work’ (Neh. 3:20). The noun ‘haron’ SHD 2740 refers to divine anger, which is ‘burning’. Anger is an aggressive word and like fear, can motivate one to action and anger used properly can give us a zeal for work. So there is human anger and divine anger and we need to understand Godly anger and expel our human anger from our thinking.
The story of Cain and Abel is well known from Genesis 4:1-14 and is the first recorded example of wounded pride and inability to handle rebuke and criticism from God. This anger in a human resulted in murder.
Anger is the embryo of murder and whenever we feel slighted or our feelings are hurt and we feel anger arising in us, we should squash it immediately as we know the logical extension of this anger is murder. To entertain the feelings of anger in these instances is to effectively commit murder in our minds.
Cain and Abel’s story is the human story of the rebellion of the angelic host. Abel represents Christ and Cain represents Satan as the two sons of God. Christ, the obedient one and Satan, full of pride in self rebelled against the law and authority of God the Father. A proud person quickly becomes angry at any threat to his perceived excellence.
The actions of Pharaoh towards Moses, throughout the account of the ten plagues, shows a man whose pride in his position is tested by Moses’ demands. Moses, as a former resident questions Pharaoh’s authority and Pharaoh didn’t take too kindly to this and became very angry. His ultimate plan, conceived in anger towards the Israelites, was to pursue them and kill them all at the Red Sea.
When we stand up to follow God’s laws in this society, we make the world’s authorities angry, because we defer to God and not to them. History shows that the fate of many who follow God’s law is hatred and death. Anger breeds murder.
The story of Balaam and his ass again shows hurt, pride, anger and the desire to kill the object of that anger (Num. 22:21-30). Joseph was warned by an angel to take Mary and the young Jesus and flee to Egypt for safety (Mat. 2:13-15). Verse 16 shows the towering rage of Herod, which resulted in the massacre of every boy child under 2 years of age in Bethlehem and all its districts, in his vain but bloody effort to destroy Messiah.
Anger and the resultant threat of murder are again portrayed in the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the three Hebrews who simply refused to acknowledge a system contrary to God’s system. These are all biblical examples of human anger.
The way anger is glamorised in sport and movies today conditions people to the acceptance of anger as a legitimate reaction to a situation. Hence violence in the home, in sport, and in the streets. Even little children act this way as well. There is also character assassination towards those whose beliefs differ from the ‘norm’, because if what is proclaimed as correct. The accusers are without excuse. Anger is the first reaction and if their doctrines can’t pass the test of truth, the attack becomes personal. Christ fed the congregation a few truths, they got angry and took him out to kill him (Lk. 4:14-30).
Sometimes God uses the anger of others to force a more dependent and reliant relationship towards Him from the individual. People of the world tend to choose the churches they are in based on their own prejudices, and they do it to justify their own prejudices. Let the Bible be the measuring stick for the justification of our position.
The consequences of human anger can be seen if one studies: Job 5:2; Psalm 37:8; 55:3; 76:10 and Proverbs 6:34; 12:16; 14:17,29; 15:1,18.
There are other situations which show the other aspect of anger-Divine anger: Exodus 22:24; 33:5; Numbers 11:1,10; 11:33, Joshua 23:16. These texts cover God’s burning, divine anger and show that because God and Christ can be angry, then there also must be a time for us to be angry. This type of anger is the one seen as being a ‘zeal for work’, and that is for the work of God.
When Christ cleansed the traders from the temple, he was angry because his Father’s house had been profaned.
When we see or hear God’s laws being profaned or when we hear doctrine being promoted that is unbiblical, we should be angry and zealously point out the error. Also we should demonstrate our anger fully by leaving that congregation and stand alone, if needs be, against the idolatry and profanity of the law of God.
This is a right anger, a ‘zeal for the work’ of God, a burning anger, which is Godly. Human anger is the wrong thought process and we must make sure we master it, as God ordered Cain.