Psalm 30:5, God’s Anger

For his anger endureth but a moment.

//I remember singing a hymn in church about how God’s punishment is gentle, and his anger short-lived. Can’t bring the hymn to mind, now, but God’s patience and quick forgiveness is central to most Christian beliefs.

But not all scripture agrees. Here are two verses from the very same Bible book, that don’t seem to jibe:

Jeremiah 3:12, I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

In this verse, Jeremiah is told by God to proclaim his merciful nature “to the north” (that is, to Israel, the northern kingdom). God wants Israel to repent, to acknowledge their sin and quit their backsliding. He promises that if they do, his anger will abate.

But they don’t, and God’s forgiving nature undergoes a transformation. When the southern kingdom (Judah) begins to try his patience, God changes  his attitude. He revokes their heritage, promising that they will serve their enemies. Why?

Jeremiah 17:4, [F]or ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.

Being a parent can be soooo trying.



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