Although in most cases, human anger is wrong, there is nothing wrong with godly indignation or wrath, which is always righteous. But we need to understand the nature of godly anger, and against whom or what it is directed.
The context of Psalm 7 shows that “Cush, a Benjamite,” persecuted innocent David. According to the Soncino commentary, Cush is a designation for King Saul. David expresses to God his innocence (vv. 3-5, 8), and asks God to take care of his situation. He points out that God will rise in His anger (verse 6), and that He “hath indignation every day” (according to Soncino). The New King James Bible ADDED the words, “with the wicked,” which do not appear in the original Hebrew. However, the addition is in accordance with the intended meaning.
“He [David] removes the false impression he may have created in the foregoing that God had been indifferent to what had happened to him, and that he called upon Him to adjudicate because He had failed to do so. He admits that God is indignant with the wicked every day, constantly.”
It is important to note WHY God is angry with the wicked. Verse 12 explains: “If he does not turn back [that is, if he does not repent of his evil deeds], He [God] will sharpen His sword.” That is, God will fight against him, and his own evil and “violent dealing shall come down on his own crown” (verse 16).
Psalm 7 expresses and describes an important character trait of God: God is slow to anger (Psalm 103:8) and ready to pardon or to forgive (Nehemiah 9:17). God’s anger only lasts just for a moment (Psalm 30:5). However, God’s patience is not without limit. God is angry at sin and sinful, rebellious conduct. But God’s anger ceases when man repents of his sin.
King Solomon understood that when man sins, God becomes angry with man and brings trouble upon him (compare 1 Kings 8:46). He also understood that when man sincerely repents of his evil deeds, God forgives and helps man out of trouble (vv. 47-50).
There are many examples in the Bible, showing that God’s hot anger is kindled against man because of sin. As we saw, God became angry in Old Testament times (cp. Judges 2:11-14). Jesus Christ became angry too when He saw the hardness and stubbornness of the Pharisees who rebelled against God’s mercy and compassion for suffering people (cp. Mark 3:5). And God will pour out His fierce anger on rebellious mankind, in an unparalleled way, in the not-too-distant future.
We are told in Scripture that the day of the LORD is at hand—a time of God’s wrath and hot displeasure when God will intervene in human affairs and punish those who rebel against Him.
Isaiah 13:9, 11, 13 says: “Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it… ‘I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible… Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the LORD of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger.’”
Isaiah 66:15-17 includes additional aspects of God’s anger to be poured out on this world in a few years from now. Also, Micah 5:15 states: “And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury On the nations that have not heard [or obeyed, as the margin has it].”
God is angry with wicked people every day who refuse to repent, and who, instead, harm others. We read in Revelation 11:18: “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come… that you should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
God is also angry with those who refuse to respond to His call for salvation. In the parable of the Great Supper, in Luke 14, God is depicted as a man or master who gave a great supper and invited many people. But they all began to make excuses, refusing to attend the supper. In verse 21, we read that the master of the house became angry with those people.
God’s righteous indignation is directed at rebellious mankind who refuse to obey God and to repent of their evil and wicked deeds. This world will soon wake up to the fact that God CAN BE VERY ANGRY—and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). Those who permanently and rebelliously refuse to submit to God, even though they know better, will pay the price. Hebrews 10:26-27 says:
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.”
Shortly after the “day of the LORD” has begun, Jesus Christ will return to this earth, to establish the Kingdom and government of God. He will come to reward the righteous and to punish the wicked who do not know and obey God and His Word (2 Thessalonians 1:3-8). We need to make sure that we don’t belong to those with whom God is angry “every day.”
Lead Writer: Norbert Link