Q&A: Does God get angry?

Does God get angry?

Question

How can God be angry if anger is sin? (Nahum 1:2; Galatians 5:19-20)

Answer

Nahum 1:2 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.

Galatians 5:19-20 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions

Anger is not always sinful (Isa. 26:20; Jer. 4:8; Matt 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; John 2:14-16). God's anger is just, holy, and righteous. "God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day" (Psa. 7:11). Paul teaches that there is a proper time for anger, even for us (Eph. 4:26). There is a larger biblical pattern: "'Vengeance is mine, and I will repay,' says the Lord" (Deut. 32:35 (NKJV); also Psa. 94:1; Jer. 51:36; Rom. 12:19; 2 Tim. 4:14). When God executes such judgment, it is always with merit and done justly (Heb. 10:30). Though God is love (John 3:16), in the same breath we must also recognize that he is just (John 3:18).

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).