The Terrifying Wrath of God

J. D. Conley
March 19, 2017

The wrath of God is a fact that is ignored and even denied by a lot of religious people. They'd much rather dwell on the grace, mercy, forgiveness and the patience of God, rather than upon His wrath. Yet, apart from God's wrath, grace, mercy, forgiveness and His patience are meaningless. Do not these qualities imply wrath? From what does one need grace, mercy and forgiveness from, if God's wrath is not real?

Paul informed the saints at Rome, "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off" (Rom. 11:22). Clearly, Paul states that God has a dual nature. If one obeys God, i.e., "continue[s] in his goodness," His goodness abounds to that person. However, if one chooses to disobey God, i.e., [falls], that individual becomes the recipient of God's "severity," or His wrath.

This pattern is seen repeatedly all throughout the Bible, but these lines will address one particular demonstration of Divine wrath upon the disobedient. Nowhere in the entirety of Holy Writ, is God's wrath more powerfully displayed, than in His watery destruction of the world. Note God's language, "And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die" (Gen.6:17). Indeed, this is a terrifying announcement! God says, "I, even I." Could He have been more emphatic? The repetition, "I, even I," is cause for pause and serious reflection. The gracious Creator is now going to be the wrathful Destroyer! What does God promise to do? "...bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh..." (emp. JDC). That is as sweeping of a sentence as there can possibly be. This is wrathful determination because the sins of mankind had engulfed the earth, (Gen.6:5, 11-12). Yet, God had been longsuffering in that His spirit had striven with man, v.3, but now His longsuffering has ended, "And it repented the Lord that he had made man...and it grieved him at his heart" (Gen.6:6).

God's wrath should show us just how utterly repugnant sin is to our Holy God. It's only by a study of His Word can we ever hope to recognize sin and its horrible nature, (Rom.7:13). Knowing this, may we ever "continue in His goodness: otherwise [we] also [shall]be cut off."