This struck me as I was considering how God’s wrath depended on His love. This is a concept we’re relatively familiar with around IHOP; “Jealousy is a husband’s fury,” and all that good, scary, but fascinating stuff. God feels wrath because He loves.
For an illustration of this, we can observe that we only get angry when we sense that things we care about are threatened or harmed (be it our families/friends, our stuff, our sense of justice, ourselves, or what have you). I have no problem with people killing spiders, becasue I frankly don’t care about spiders. I would have a big problem, however, with someone maliciously harming my kids (supposing I had any). I would be livid, because I would care deeply about my children, and woe to the person who laid a hand on them.
This got me thinking about God’s “pathos,” His emotions and desires. Although God is holy, exalted far above anything created, He has emotions towards us. Why? Because He cares about us. He has emotionally invested in us.
Here’s the kicker. God doesn’t need a blessed thing from us. We don’t fill any kind of void in the being of God. He is perfect and complete within Himself; we don’t meet any sort of physical, spiritual, or emotional needs in Him. Yet He loves us anyway. He chose to create us and to share Himself with us, to open His heart to us. Because of His generous, humble nature, He cares about us. Therefore He feels in response what we human beings say, think and do. He cares about how we treat Him and how we treat one another. It saddens Him to see us hurting. It causes Him joy to see us saved and succeeding in our walk with Him. And it evokes His wrath when we consistently scorn His love.
So connect the dots… Wrath is a manifestation of God’s love. God’s love is synonymous with God’s humility. Therefore, God’s wrath is a manifestation of His humility.
Whoa. I’m going to be cooking on this one for a while…