Oh my, what a subject. Let’s start by quoting together John 3.16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.” What a great statement of our Christian faith in the love of God our father. So as we continue to the end of this same chapter let’s recite together John 3.36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Here lies the stumbling block for so many 21st century people. How can God be both love and anger ?
The scriptures cited above are but a sampling of the passages in scripture that speak of the anger of God. This anger is always aimed at those things that are unholy, unrighteous, sinful, iniquitous, and transgressing against the holiness of God. The book of Romans points out with great clarity that we would never understand sin without the law defining what is acceptable in the eyes of God, Romans 7.7. So also we could never understand righteousness without both sides of right and wrong. Justice is the reward of good and punishment of wrong. The scriptures tell clearly of the universal concept of retributive justice, that in the end evil is punished and goodness is rewarded. The counselors in the book of Job try exhaustively to convince Job that he had done something wrong to deserve such a punishment from God, and it turns out that though in this particular case that wasn’t the reason for calamity in his life, yet God revealed that Job wasn’t quite as pure as he contested he was. Thus Job stated in Job 42.6 “Therefore, (since I am not as pure as I thought,) I retract, I repent in dust and ashes.”
Our great God, Yahweh, is described in Habakuk 1.13, “thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil.” Psalms 76.7 “You, even You are to be feared ; and who may stand in your presence when once You are angry.” God hates sin, no evil or wrongdoing is allowed to dwell in His presence, all sin is to be punished, (Romans 6.23,) and all men are sinful, (Romans 3.23.) Yet the good news is God our Savior has provided a way. Jesus the only righteous one, with no sin whatsoever, (2 Corinthians 5.21,) bore the wrath of God on our behalf so that we who believe in Him might have a right to stand in the Holy presence of Yahweh. We cannot fully understand the completeness of the Love of God without understanding His complete hatred of sin. God is Holy. God has provided a way.