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SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 04/01

Yahweh's Wrath

Many people believe that anger is a sign of weakness, of lack of control; and that Jehovah (Yahweh) the Almighty God of Israel is absolutely incapable of anger. They also believe that a loving God cannot possibly punish people for their sins. He's too good for that. These are very serious and dangerous misconceptions, which I hope to expose this morning: because millions of people in every country are in for a terrible shock in the very near future if that is what they believe. Let us now examine the Scriptures and learn something about another side of Yahweh's character - His wrath, His fierce anger. To be sure this is an unusual subject, but knowledge of it could well save you from bitter sorrow later.

1. What Kindles Yahweh's Wrath?

There are scores of examples in the Bible which give evidence of Yahweh's wrath. He does get angry as we shall see. But what makes Him angry? Here are three examples of things that anger the Most High.

The Unfaithfulness of His people

Exodus 32:7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
8: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
9: And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
10: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

Ezra 8:22 ... The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.

Israel's constant complaining

Numbers 11:1 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

Greed / Lust of the flesh

Numbers 11:33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
34: And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.

Numbers 25:4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
Psalm 78:31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.


Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Blatant Disobedience

Deuteronomy 29:19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
20: The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.

2. Characteristics of Divine Anger

Now that we know that Yahweh does get angry, let us consider His anger further. I am happy to report that Yahweh is SLOW to anger. He exercises enormous patience and control before He finally gives vent to His wrath.
Nehemiah 9:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
Jonah 4:2 "... for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Yahweh's anger, when it finally explodes, can be FIERCE.
Exodus 32:12 ... Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
1 Samuel 28:18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.
Deuteronomy 32:19 : And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
20: And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
21: They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22: For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Yahweh's anger is SHORT-LIVED. It flares up to great intensity but soon subsides. Praise be His holy Name!
Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
In short: the Almighty's anger is explosive. It may take long to ignite; but when it does it explodes in a devastating blast which, thankfully, is short-lived. In our zeal to explain the great Love and Mercy of God, let no one forget that the Most High can get very angry. Stewarton Bible School would not be presenting the truth about Yahweh if we hid these facts about His anger.

Modern Translations

By omitting the phrase 'without a cause' from the following text, many modern Bible translations have made it a sin even to get angry. This is totally against what the Scriptures teach; because both Yahweh and His Son Yeshua became angry on several occasions.
Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment...
If the Bible translation you are using is guilty of this omission, then you must study the SBS article Bible Versions ... Which is the real Word of God?

3. The Day of Wrath

Isolated instances of Yahweh's anger are found in many passages of Scripture. But there is one particular time, unique in all eternity, which is referred to in the Bible as the Day of Wrath! Since we are approaching the Day of Wrath, let us examine a few verses about that terrifying time.
Zepheniah 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
15: That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16: A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
17: And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
18: Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

The Seven Last Plagues

The Seven Last Plagues are referred to as the Wrath of God! They are described in detail in Revelation chapter 16. Let no one foolishly imagine that they will not occur; because the Scriptures must be fulfilled.

4. Who Will Escape the Plagues?

Is escape possible from such great anger? We are happy to report that there is a way of escape. That way is through Faith in Jesus Christ; living faith expressed in obedience of the Almighty's commandments. As the old hymn said: Trust and Obey, there is no other way.
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3: For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4: When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5: Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.

Yes, escape is possible through faith in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). But I must repeat that it is 'living faith;' that is, faith which manifests itself in obedience. Living faith and obedience are the only effective insurance against punishment on Yahweh's Day of Wrath - when the seven last plagues fall. The question we should ask ourselves is: How shall I escape? The writer of Hebrews gives this following advice:
Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
2: For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
3: How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

Escape from Yahweh's wrath is possible. Indeed, protection is promised to Yahweh's obedient followers during the Day of Wrath. But first we must prepare with faithful obedience and prayer.
Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21: For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Revelation 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days...

14: And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15: And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16: And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17: And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

This passage clearly tells of a time when the Almighty's people will be miraculously protected during the 1260 days mentioned above. For further study see the SBS article The Coming Exodus.

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet Dec.1995 ... Updated with KJV references July 1999