Anger and Wrath. As Paul continues with his list from Ephesians 4 on characteristics which should exemplify the true believer in Christ, he approaches the subject of anger and its "big brother" wrath. To give in to anger and wrath, says Paul, is to give place to the devil.
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26-27, NKJV
What does the Bible say about anger and wrath?
Joseph's brothers understood that one must be careful not to make a ruler angry. To anger the king (or Pharaoh) could mean death!
Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh.
To anger God is to cause one's destruction. God's enemies here were consumed like stubble.
And in the greatness of Your excellence You have overthrown those who rose against You; You sent forth Your wrath; It consumed them like stubble.
When we make a covenant with the Lord God--when we become believers in Christ--God's fierce wrath is turned away from us. Why is that? God is pure and holy and cannot even look upon sin. Christ, in His death upon the cross, bore the punishment of our sins. When God looks upon His children, He does not see their sin, but sees the holy, righteous blood of Christ. What an amazing God we serve!
Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us.
2 Chronicles 29:10
Again, we see in the New Testament that God's wrath is incurred against the sin and wickedness of those who do not turn to Him.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
The sins of wrath and anger do not stop there; from them proceed even more wickedness in our hearts and lives.
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
Through the help and guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us be swift to hear God's Word of truth and slow to allow wrath to consume us. The righteousness of God is not produced by the wrath of man!
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
These verses, and many more, help us to perceive the danger of wrath and anger consuming our lives. While it is truly impossible for us to forgive those who have greatly damaged and offended our characters, let us be mindful of our own sin before a righteous and holy God. God, filled with a love we cannot even imagine, looked beyond our sin and unworthiness before Him and saved us. As He has forgiven us of such great sin, let us pray that we will not let anger or wrath consume us, but that we will live in a manner which is truly pleasing to God.
What an amazing God we serve. By His grace let us put away all anger and put away all wrath!