Snapshots: Day 199

 Snapshots: Day 199

The Snapshot: Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.” (1 Sam 15:11) It is easy to become angry with the Church, with the world at large, and even God, but mostly our anger is either unfounded or misplaced. But the thing is that where lukewarm faith prevails, or unbelief weighs down, it is difficult not to be angry but that anger is so often simply a sign of frustration. And the answer to that? Pray – and keep on praying and praying until either your view is changed or the people or circumstances are changed. If there is anger make sure it is linked to ongoing intercessory prayer. If we don’t our own righteousness is suspect.

Further Consideration: Anger it is a strange thing: it can be righteous or unrighteous. I say it can be righteous because God gets angry. But what is anger? A dictionary definition is “a strong feeling of annoyance or displeasure or response to hostile provocation.” The apostle Paul taught that anger should not be allowed to continue (Eph 4:26) which suggests that it tends to be an emotion that is provoked by the words or actions of someone else.

The Lord got angry with Moses when he kept making excuses why he wasn’t up to going to deliver Israel from Egypt (Ex 4:14). The Lord knew Moses was up to the task and so these were mere untrue excuses. The Lord later taught Moses that He was slow to anger (Ex 34:6) but that implies what is sometimes seen, that He did sometimes get angry.

Anger is an emotional expression of displeasure in response to something wrong. That’s why Samuel was angry. Scholars suggest that when Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, there was an element of anger behind the tears. One version speaks of Jesus being “deeply moved in the spirit and was agitated.” It appears an anger at the effects of sin that resulted in tears and anguish of these people. If only Adam and Eve had never sinned, if only the human race could have not sinned, then all these awful effects of sin could have been avoided.  

In Samuel’s case Saul had been given a clear instruction and had blatantly failed to obey. He was supposed to be the Lord’s anointed, for goodness sake! He’s supposed to take a lead and be an example for his people, and what does he do? Disobey God! Some psychologists maintain that all anger is good in that it vents and reveals the emotions but if the emotions are self-centred and godless, then they cannot be said to be good. Paul wrote that love, does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Cor 13:5) implying that getting easily angered tends to be self-seeking and caring little of others, i.e. an expression of the absence of love – to be avoided.  

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