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Slow to Anger
“He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel; The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” --- Psalm 103:7-12 (NIV)
We all know what quick anger looks like, don’t we? If someone is said to be hot tempered, their anger is usually on display as quick as a flash of lightning, but it can burn on like a forest fire. Often when we think about God being angry, we think of it the way hot tempered humans look. Quick anger isn’t about being thoughtful or considerate of the value of another, rather it is rash. Being slow to anger has a patient quality to it.
But why is God even angry at all? Anger points to the threat of something that we love. God loves us tremendously. If destruction is upon us, he cannot take an apathetic stance toward that.
Any parent knows that when their child is headed down a path of destruction within their life, they are angry about what is destroying their child, and they take action to make change. They do not want to destroy the child, but simply the danger to the child.
Being slow to anger looks like a well thought out response a threat to something we love. It is purposeful, patient, and respectful of the value of others.
And the plan for salvation through Jesus, for our good and because of our value to God, is purposeful and patient indeed.