Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Rejoicing in Wrath

Isaiah 30:27-30
See, the Name of the LORD comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire.  His breath is like a rushing torrent, rising up to the neck. He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction; he places in the jaws of the peoples a bit that leads them astray.

And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go up with flutes to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.  The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.

God burns with anger against people's sinfulness. Many in the world view God as a sort of Santa Claus figure; a kindly old gentleman who gives presents out on occasion; or one who never takes offense nor is ever angry, but always light-hearted and overlooking all faults. But the forgiveness of sins He provides is not like one who casually overlooks faults. No rather sin ALWAYS results in wrath. God only provides forgiveness after His wrath, His sense of justice, has been satisfied. God sent his own Son as an object of wrath so that through Christ our Passover our sins can be forgiven. But even so God demands that this character quality of His; His judicial nature; this hatred and anger against sin, being satisified solely in the atoning work of Christ, be accepted as a condition for salvation. For such is central to the gospel message. While eternal life is offered freely, it is not unconditional. An essential part of the message is that if you can't accept the way God is; if you can't accept God's attitudes; well then to hell with you.

Why is it here in Isaiah that people are encouraged to rejoice at the destruction of the wicked. Why rejoice when God's wrath is poured out? Is it not rather a time to mourn on behalf of those who perish? Doesn't the scripture say, "You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble." Ob 1:12 But the prophet qualifies this further on saying, "The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head." And one is reminded of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." John 8:7 However there appears a distinction between situations where repentance is possible and where repentance is not possible.

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,  for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants." And again they shouted: "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever." Rev 19:1,2
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