When you think of the word “wrath” or “wrath of God” what do you imagine and feel? For the most part this is such a condemning word and for most people makes them want to cringe and withdraw from God feeling all guilty and condemned. But let’s look at this little word and get some perspective.
I had such an encounter with the Lord over this little word and cannot express the joy and laughter that flooded my heart and soul and I hope this short blog will do the same for you.
There are two sides to this amazing little word, which when understood is anything but little. It is in fact a description of someone whose heart is on fire. On the one side the word means PASSION, being a great and intense desire that excites the mind. On the flip side it means ANGER which is also expressed as a great excitement of the mind.
Now think about violent passion. Violent passion is a desire ignited by love that reaches into your mind and emotions and sets you on fire. Passion is wonderful and powerful. It stirs you up to do great and mighty deeds and it is a fitting description of the great lengths it took for Jesus to fulfill His mission to redeem you and me.
He certainly did not go to the cross because He was angry. He went to the cross because His desire to rescue you surpassed every other desire in His heart.
There is no greater example or description of the word passion than the fierce and intense love of God.
And this is the primary meaning of the word WRATH!
Now, what if we started reading the Bible and replaced the word wrath with the word passion? It would read very different and paint a different picture of the Lord towards humanity, instead of just an angry God who sits in heaven waiting to punish humanity.
John 3:16 – 21 is the greatest definition and description of the true meaning of the word wrath. (Inserts are mine)
For God so loved (great passion/wrath) the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish (great anger/wrath) but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn (great anger/wrath) the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (great passion/wrath). He who believes in Him is not condemned (great anger/wrath); but he who does not believe is condemned (great anger/wrath) already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation (great anger/wrath), that the light (great passion/wrath) has come into the world, and men loved darkness (great anger/wrath) rather than light (great passion/wrath), because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates (great anger/wrath) the light (great passion/wrath) and does not come to the light (great passion/wrath), lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light (great passion/wrath), that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
This means that God had so much wrath towards you (all of us) that He came to redeem and rescue us from hell, the grave, and all other works of the devil – the wicked and evil accusers and oppressors of humanity.
The flip side of wrath is a violent ANGER. And yes, God does get intensely angry – fiercely angry in protecting those/that which belongs to HIM. That my friend is you! He has a fierce anger towards the princes and powers of darkness and there is punishment (known as the lake of fire) for these wicked beings. Sadly, there are also people who have no desire and even have a fierce anger/wrath at God and reject His love. These are the people Jesus said are already condemned – fall under His fierce anger and punishment that He created for the hordes of hell.
God has no desire for any person to go to a lost eternity. His wrath – violent, passionate love – is to redeem us all. However, your choice to accept or reject is even stronger than His love for you.
Therefore, whenever you see the word wrath in the Bible stop and think about both sides of the word. Don’t assume that every time the word wrath is used it implies that God is only fiercely angry. Hidden in the word wrath is both His love and His anger and you need to understand and see both sides. The truth is that you are not under His punishment, you are under His love and blessing.
And finally, always remember to read the Scriptures with an eternal perspective. The day of His wrath is not here on earth, it is eternal and begins when a person dies. If you love the Lord and belong to Him you have already past from death to life, from curse to blessing, from sin to righteousness. Think about what you are in the eternal heaven and not who you are as a child of God learning to overcome the world.
May the wrath – the intense and passionate – love of God set you on fire 🔥
Wrathfully yours 😊💓
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