Have you ever been so angry that you wanted to punch something? You may get red the face, the veins in your neck may bulge, or you may scream, but you have reached your limit. Some people and circumstances push us to the edge of our patience, but something causes us to restrain our anger. God has been restraining His anger since the first sin. He does it for our benefit and His glory.
I will delay my anger for the sake of my name, and I will restrain myself for your benefit and for my praise, so that you will not be destroyed. I will act for my own sake, indeed, my own, for how can I be defiled? I will not give my glory to another.
Israel deserved the full wrath of God for all of its sins; we all do for that matter. After years and years of idolatry, they showed no sign of stopping, but God was still restraining his anger. Eventually, He sent them into captivity to pay for their sins, but He never wiped them from the face of the earth as He had threatened. The reason for that is that His love always prevails and He acts for His own sake. His plan of redemption wasn’t going to be derailed, and so He withheld HIs anger.
We can’t deceive ourselves into thinking that God is only loving. He is also a God of truth and justice. He is disappointed with us when we sin and doesn’t sit idly by when we rebel. God takes an active role in our lives and will work towards our repentance. We shouldn’t live in fear that He is going to judge us if we do something wrong, as we have seen He is full of grace and restraining anger for our sakes. But we do have to desire to be holy, which means forsaking sin.
Sin makes God angry. He hates what it does to His children and how it wrecks the church’s witness. We need to rise up and begin a movement of holiness. We need to seek His face and repent over our sins. That will bring revival to the church and transform lives. Then we will see our communities and countries changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.