Most have the idea that God is ticked off constantly and can’t wait to nail you and throw your sorry butt in hell.
God comes across as very angry, especially in the Old Testament. God in judgment seems foreign to our happy notions of happy, grace, love God. Since judgment is unpleasant to us, we don’t bother to think about it and understand God and His wrath better.
Isaiah 28 talks about a particular judgment of God’s that is coming, “a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.” When people think about God in the OT, this fits the bill perfectly. God can’t wait to kill people.
But the verse right before the one about the world-wide consumption says that this whole judgment thing is coming “that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.”
Judgment is a strange thing for God, it’s not His normal mode of operation. When you look at all the human idiocy contained in the record of the OT, God seems quite restrained!
People marvel that today God isn’t pouring out judgment on us the way He did in the OT. But honestly, if you read the OT understanding that it covers thousands of years of human history, judgment is not something God does a lot of.
God is slow to anger. Being slow to anger is a good thing and this trait reveals other things about God. Being “slow to anger” is something Proverbs tells us to do. Note the verses well:
Proverbs 14:29—“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
Proverbs 15:18—“A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.”
Proverbs 16:32—“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”
Someone who is quick to anger shows a lack of wisdom. Your immediate reactions to things are often based on lack of knowledge. Hang on a bit, get some facts and go from there. Being slow to anger shows that our God is wise.
Someone who is quick to anger shows an inability to make peace with people. People who are always upset make very bad friends and tend to create more trouble. God, in being slow to anger, is showing Himself to be gracious, merciful and a peace-maker.
Someone who is quick to anger shows they are insecure in their strength. Young men often get ticked off and punch walls and other foolish things, thinking this shows how tough they are. Nope, it merely reveals how insecure and ineffectual you know you are. God in being slow to anger demonstrates tremendous power and strength.
God is slow to anger. Judgment is His strange work. God came right out and said, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” God is not gleefully waiting His chance to judge you, rather He is wisely, powerfully, and mercifully waiting for you to come back to Him.