Out of This World

The Object of God's Anger

The following is a reflection on 1 Kings 16:7: “…because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger.”

My soul, do not be mistaken: as surely as “the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Ps 103:8), so does He likewise hate sin, and it angers Him when one does what is evil in His sight.

When Jesus walked into that temple-turned-marketplace, He went and made a whip.

When God laid eyes upon the golden calf, He desired to destroy the people of Israel.

And so here we have 5 kings, and 5 times we hear that their actions provoke the Lord to anger (1 Ki 16:2, 7, 13, 26, 33), and 5 times we hear that they did what was evil (v.7, 19, 25 twice, 30). Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, and Ahab alike all feed the Lord’s anger, living in unrighteousness and dwelling in evil, the tents of darkness.

Oh my soul, how easy it is to look upon these kings and think, “I am better than they. I did not, as Zimri, strike down my master, nor did I, as Ahab, erect an altar to Baal or make an Asherah or take in vile Jezebel as my wife.” But my soul, the issue goes deeper than that: the Lord hates sin! It matters not how much sin there is: whether you have killed a hundred innocent men or unfairly looked upon one man in anger, whether you have 700 wives and 300 concubines or have gazed upon one woman with lustful eyes… the Lord hates your sin. Do not be mistaken, the Lord loves you – and without a doubt the Lord is just and will judge sins according to the measure of their atrocity – but let not His love for you nor His heftier punishments on others more vile than you cause you to be comfortable in your sin, lethargic to its manifesting presence within you, fostering up a hard heart against the ways of the Lord.

The Object of God's Anger

The Exceeding Worth of God

Oh, the worth of God.

When I woke up early this morning to do my daily Bible reading, I felt the conviction to approach it differently than I usually do. I pulled out my journal and penned a short little prayer:

O God, You are my God. Early will I seek Thee. Earnestly will I seek Thee. As I meditate upon Your Word this morning, O Love of my soul, let me not approach it through the lens of mental stimulation, principle formation, dignity elevation, nor secure foundation. Neither let me approach it as a means of achieving knowledge of promise, calling to office, counters to the doubting Thomas, nor seeking power dishonest. No! I read not this book, O Lord, to stimulate my mind or discover principles or make my life successful or discover blessed promises or provide myself with a sense of safety or to defend it against the heathen or to receive sermons to preach or because it is my job or because I seek some mystical power. No; I read Your Word that I might know You more. I meditate upon it all the day because I search for the Man who wrote it. Meet me here this day, O God, and let my searching not be in vain. If You provide those other things, all the better, but this alone do I seek: Do not let me lose focus on You! Help me read it as You would read it; reveal to me that which lifts Your name highest. May each word be a conviction to my very soul. Meet me here, O God. I pine for Thee.

Then I began to read…

The Exceeding Worth of God