“So now I am filled with the Lord’s fury. Yes, I am tired of holding it in! “I will pour out my fury on children playing in the streets and on gatherings of young men, on husbands and wives and on those who are old and gray. Their homes will be turned over to their enemies, as will their fields and their wives. For I will raise my powerful fist against the people of this land,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 6:11-12
We see the wrath of God in the total destruction of Israel. We don’t like to think of God as having wrath. The wrath of God is not something that resides in him by nature; it is a response to evil. It is provoked. The Bible says, “God is love.” That is his nature. God’s love is not provoked. He does not love us because he sees some wisdom, beauty, or goodness in us. The wrath of God is not something that resides in him by nature; it is a response to evil. It is provoked. The wrath of God is, according to John Stott, “His steady, unrelenting, unremitting, uncompromising antagonism to evil in all its forms and manifestations.” God’s wrath is not like our anger. God’s wrath is different, his holy response to the intrusion of evil into his world. If there was no sin in the world, there would be no wrath in God. So the Bible’s teaching about the wrath of God is different from ancient mythologies, gods who run around frustrated and fuming. God’s anger is his settled resolve that evil will not stand.
Many times our punishment is our sin. Our punishment is our greed, envy, strife, deceit, violence and faithlessness. When we see the moral fabric of our culture being torn, then as Christian believers we should cry to God for mercy. The whole Bible story leads to a day when God will deal with all evil fully, finally, and forever. This will be the day of wrath, when God will recompense every evil and bring to judgment every sin.
The Bible speaks about God’s wrath being poured out at the cross: “I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you” (Ezekiel 7:8). This takes us to the heart of what happened there: The divine wrath toward sin was poured out on Jesus. He became the “propitiation” for our sins (Romans 3:25), which means that the payment for our sins was poured out on Jesus at Calvary.
The hope for sinners is that between us and the wrath of God stands the cross of Jesus. Sin was laid on Jesus and the Divine wrath toward it was poured out, spent, and exhausted in the darkness of Calvary.