My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words. Psalm 119:139
David’s definition of anger as “a zeal that consumes” is a good one. Jesus said something similar when he turned over the tables in the temple and sent coins flying. “Zeal for your house has consumed me.” His anger was hot, not because they had wronged Him, but because His Father’s glory was spurned. Respect for God’s temple was absent and acts of worship were handled with a lack of integrity.
Back to David. His zeal was engaged, not because he was personally wronged, but because God’s Word was forgotten. This is a holy man. He was, as Jesus was, more offended for God than for himself.
Do I ever have this reaction? When I am lied to, am I offended for God because His law was broken? Or, am I hurt because someone intentionally deceived me and trust was violated? When my child speaks disrespectfully to me, do I grieve on account of the spiritual danger my child faces because of his lack for spiritual authority? Or am I upset because my own power and authority was questioned?
A sin against anyone is a sin against God but how often do I hurt for God’s broken heart? When the sin is against me, I can be so self-centered that my tears are only for myself. As God helps me work my way through the hurt, I will eventually discover His heavy heart.
Sin is rampant. God’s law is trampled upon. I just had to open my browser and see the headlines this morning to get fresh evidence. God is hurting over the betrayal of His creation. Will my comfort make a dent? Is God really touched by my soothing words? Yes. Jesus was God in the flesh and on the eve of His arrest, He asked for His disciple’s companionship in prayer. He admitted what He needed from them but they didn’t come through.
Though God doesn’t need my comfort to gain strength or feel validated, He is still moved by it. The next time someone uses God’s name to curse me out, I will tell God that I’m sorry.
My anger is often engaged, but not for the right reasons. I want to feel what you feel and see beyond my own pride. Amen