I am thankful today for God’s jealousy, vengeance, and anger.

I haven’t always felt that way. In the past, as I’ve studied the Old Testament and read about God being a jealous God, seeing his anger burn against the people he created, and observing his vengeance, I frankly didn’t like it. I don’t like thinking of God that way. I want a God who is soft and cuddly, the prince of peace, the good shepherd. Basically I want a Teddy Bear God, not a Righteous Judge.

But God’s nature includes both, which allows him to provide us with exactly what we need. I’ve been taking a tour through the minor prophets lately and yesterday came to Nahum 1. The first thing Nahum says is,

The Lord is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and wrath. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and furiously destroys his enemies!

Wow … what a way to begin your book! Sure makes me want to keep reading! While these sentences are about God’s “burning anger,” it’s really about his power and the fact that he is in control (sovereign) over all things. The person who put up this church sign fully understands this!

While his anger may seem troubling, it is actually very comforting to realize that God has everything under his control.

I don’t have to worry about vengeance and wrath. He’s got it!
I don’t need to become angry over injustices in the world. He’s got it.
I don’t need to worry about natural disasters. He’s got it.
And He’s got me, regardless of the situation!

Verse 7 completes the picture: “The Lord is good.” I believe that. He’s got me!

To lead from the heart, we need an accurate and whole picture of God. A leader after God’s own heart is surrendered to him and trusts him. He’s got it!

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    October 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    "God will get you…"

    God is out to get us into His family… not to pour out His anger and wrath upon us for our sin. Otherwise, what was the point of Jesus suffering and dying for us. See Romans 5.

    It is God's goodness that leads us to repentance. Romans 2:4.

    Reply

  2. Michael C. Mack

    October 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Good point. I'm thankful God extends his grace to us and invites us into his family. Each of us has a simple choice: receive his grace because Jesus took the penalty on the cross for us or recieve the penalty by not accepting the grace he's offered us. That's Good News!

    Reply

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