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Coming to Terms With God's Wrath, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
August 27, 2020 7:05 am

Coming to Terms With God's Wrath, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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August 27, 2020 7:05 am

Lamentations: Jeremiah’s Journal of Woes

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God is known for kindness and mercy and love. God is quite capable of demonstrating his anger, wrath and fury as well. These two virtues, love, and anger may seem distant but they're not in conflict God wills both at the same time today on Insight for living will observe a living illustration in Jeremiah's journal "the book of Lamentations.

This is a brand-new eight part series from Chuck Swindoll that speaks directly to the issues facing us in 2020.

Chuck titled this next message coming to terms with God's wrath and ask you to do something a little unusual. I want you to place your Bible on your lap.

If you have one there and above it. Just open your hands, palms up, okay, look at the palms of your hands continue to look at those lines that marked the poem of your hands. One of the prophets writes can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb. Yes, yes, they may forget, but I will not forget you hear this. I have inscribed you on the palms of my hand. Your ways are continually before me. How well we know our own hands and the markings on them and what a constant reminder that our heavenly father is then acquainted with all our ways.

Every step we take every word we say even every thought we think every decision we make. He has inscribed us on the palm of his hand is a human description of the unseen God invisible yet invincible, always aware and always caring, always know the amazing fact about our Lord is that he has preserved for us truth in his word that is ancient but timeless inspired and true.

More reliable than a piece of literature that's ever been put into print what is remarkable is even though it may be sold.

In fact, Jeremiah wrote the Lamentations a little beyond 2600 years ago. Think of that. Add to that the year 2020 UC how far away that was when he wrote these words and yet they have to do with our lives today may not sound very comforting but were going to learn about the wrath of God today unless I miss my guess, you probably never really understood it correctly. If you have your one of the few is easy to misinterpret Lamentations to his full of references to his anger seem to me appropriate that we understand what it means.

I want to review a few excerpts and then we will move along into the service. Locate Lamentations 2 I'll read beginning at verse one like to have your stand for the reading of the Scriptures, the Lord and his anger has cast a dark shadow over beautiful Jerusalem, the fairest of Israel cities lies in the dust thrown down from the heights of heaven in his day of great anger.

The Lord has shown no mercy even to his temple without mercy. The Lord is destroyed every home in Israel.

In his anger.

He is broken down fortress walls of beautiful Jerusalem verse six. He is broken down his temple as though it were merely a garden shelter. The Lord has blotted out all memory of the holy festivals and Sabbath days kings and priests fall together before his fierce anger. Verse 14 your Prophets have said so many foolish things false to the core.

They did not save you from exile by pointing out your sins. Instead, they painted false pictures, filling you with false hope.

Now the last verse, verse 22 you have invited terrorists from all around as though you were calling them to a day of feasting in the day of the Lord's anger.

No one has escaped survive. You're listening to Insight for living to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll.

Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies going to Insight world.org/studies another message called coming to terms with God's wrath. There is something about the wrath of God that makes us cringe even for ministers, there is a reluctance to address the subject.

We tend to play it down or just ignore it. A few may deliberately deny it altogether though that is a reach since the Scripture often refers to God's anger God's wrath. God's fury stop and think what was the last time you heard a full message that focused on the wrath of God in a way that was reasonable biblical meaningful probably can't remember the last time I know I can't. In fact, I would all the way through a very fine conservative seminary and only on rare occasions wasn't mentioned and when it was it was handled briefly and we went on with other subjects dealing with the attributes of God. JI Packer off-line theologian writes with incredible insight in his book, which you would find delightful to read knowing God. These words about God's wrath. How long is it I wonder since a Christian spoke straight on this subject on the radio, on television or in one of those half Colin sermon that that appear in some national magazine and if one so how long would it be before he would be asked to speak or write again. The fact is that the subject of divine wrath has become taboo in modern society and Christians by and large have accepted the taboo and conditioned themselves never to raise the matter that does not surprise you, doesn't will this will the writers mention the subject frequently in both old and New Testament, there is an emphasis on the reality and the terror of God's wrath. One scholar states a study of the concordance. That's an alphabetical listing of all the words in the Bible. A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in the Scriptures, to the anger fury and wrath of God, then there or to his love and tenderness. You didn't know that you I certainly didn't, I would have just like you that there are far more references to the love and tenderness of God. But there or not. It seems to me therefore that since so much is said about it. We need to understand more regarding it so that we don't miss understand what it means and then misinterpret what is written when it appears in Scripture.

Why is it that we feel so uneasy addressing the wrath of God.

What makes us cringe. Why are we embarrassed or at best awkward linking the name of God with the word wrath what think your couple of very logical reasons. One is linking God to something as severe as wrath seems inappropriate. It is like it lowers him to our level and were very uncomfortable with that. We should be. It seems to suggest that he's a God of malice and revenge, but he's neither has nothing to do with malice or revenge when it comes to God, often with humans like us. It does refer to malice and revenge, but never with God.

God is not enraged in heaven over us that we are the ones who are guilty of rage, his anger is never out of control so we miss it. There it seems it seems inappropriate. Here's another thought connecting wrath with God seems to picture him as cruel and we know he's not that either. It's like he takes delight in inflicting punishment, he doesn't Scripture never teaches that but will use the word wrath. We think of inflicting punishment, and then we connected with God like he's some sort of fierce monster roaming heaven looking for someone to club into submission, which is a altogether heretical thought of God. Nevertheless, the wrath of God appears again and again in the Scriptures so we need to have an understanding of what it means.

Think of it this way, God's wrath is never self-indulgent. Instead, it is always right when he is angry because it is always a reaction against moral evil and one as holy as God certainly would feel anger toward moral evil.

Let me put God's wrath in human terms so that you can grasp it a little better we refer to people as being righteously indignant note will. That's a righteous indignation we say, for example, let's go to a high school campus. It's lunchtime a little seventh grader that is getting used to life in this senior high school has come with his brownbag kitties opened it. It is pulled out a sandwich and whatever is mother has prepared for his lunch, and in walks a senior who was a bully. He sees the sandwich sizes up the little kid grabs the sandwich unwraps it and eats it here at the other end of the table what you feel is righteous indignation toward the bully and you should you not to be angry at that something is wrong with you if you can witness that and not feel righteously indignant to go a step further into something far more serious in the world of human trafficking. There are predators they prey on individuals who were often defenseless in their often manipulated into a situation where they are helpless they are intimidated when a predator traps his victim out of intimidation because that victim is defenseless are feeling toward that predator is righteous indignation and it should be. It's a criminal act should be punished for what he's doing. We have every right to feel that way.

There's something wrong if we don't, if you look the other way there something wrong with you. Just as there is something terribly wrong with the predator. Now let me clarify all God's anger. All of his indignation is righteous.

Every time his wrath appears there's a good reason for it and is righteous in expressing me ask you this also would a God who took as much pleasure in evil is in good be a good God when you could trust one you would respect who sees evil smiles that it shrugs it off as is no problem here is no respect in one who does that God's wrath in the Bible and the clarify is always judicial. He's not acting like a cruel monster when he expresses his wrath.

He's acting like a judge administering justice.

A judge at the bench quiz heard the case against an individual who has been found guilty by the jury, bringing his gavel down on the bench declaring this individual guilty is not being a cruel monster.

He's carrying out justice.

He's acting in a judicial way. All God's wrath can be seen as judicial never cruel. Second let me say it this way, God's wrath is something people choose for themselves. We bring his wrath upon ourselves by making wrong choices in life. Before a person experiences consequences that are inflicted by God's wrath.

We have been warned. We have been told we have been instructed. We have been made aware of the right way to go and if we choose the wrong way and continue to choose the wrong way and go on choosing the wrong way, there is an end to his patients as it reaches the end of his tether and becomes an act of anger as he brings consequences against our choice. You see, God is not wishing that any would perish. There's God's heart. According to Peter's writings.

He does not want anyone to be destroyed. He does not want anyone to perish, he wants everyone to repent, but they don't, they won't.

And those who don't suffer the consequences. I realize this introduction is a bit long and may seem tedious, but it's important for us before we move into the second chapter that mentions repeatedly God's anger is great anger, his fierce anger, his fury, six, seven or more times and now you will understand that this is not God throwing a fit. He's not having a temper tantrum was a way that's what children do best when a person does never gain control over his or her anger does not like that you can rest assured that when God finally does bring his wrath. There has been plenty of time to understand his will. God is become righteously indignant over the citizens failures in Jerusalem throughout the life of Jeremiah 40 years of prophesying warning, instructing, correcting, telling, reproving, they ignored him.

They ignore he began doing so when he was about 20 and always in his 60s writing limitations and the city is fallen, it fell because the people resisted the warnings of Jeremiah they brought their own consequences on them so are God's consequences on themselves and their blatant sins. Their shameless idolatry their habitual disobedience resulted in the anger of God in the fall of Jerusalem makes one wonder about our times doesn't for a few moments think clearly and forgetting the television or the news conference or the broadcasts you watched or listened to.

Just think biblically. Think about it. Firewood going through such tough time is God suddenly out of control over us is never out of control. He sovereign over all of its is this what God wanted for us know he's holy.

He wants us to be a holy nation. He wants us to have harmony in our relationships.

He wants us to trust him to turn to him to let him guide.

He wants us to respect him to take his word is truth and to use it as our guide and to do what our coin reads to trust him but we don't notice the majority hard times come. Hopefully, they will awaken us to realize he means business. He cares about nations and people in the way we administer life the way we make our choices.

He writes about 2600 years ago, and long ago they were doing this is going there still consequences if it doesn't square with his word. It isn't right. These are sobering warning coming from Jeremiah's book of Lamentations. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message coming to terms with God's wrath.

You can dig deeper into this time sensitive subject.

By accessing check study notes that insight world.org/studies and insight for living. We believe your best learning often takes place apart from these daily programs. When you have some quiet time to pause and reflect on God's word is one of the many reasons we supply a daily dose of biblical encouragement from Chuck by subscribing to Chuck's free email will be able to read and pray intentionally, and with focus seven days a week. The devotional shows up automatically in your inbox, so subscribe today when you go to insight.org and follow the simple instructions list daily program. The searching the Scriptures studies and the daily devotionals are made possible through the voluntary donations of friends and our monthly companions together or bringing a message of truth and hope to people around the world who feel oppressed by the pressing issues of our times, and as a result of the global pandemic along with the social unrest taking over our streets.

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