The Wrath/Anger/Indignation of God
A. W. Pink
It is sad indeed to find so many professing Christians who appear to regard the wrath of God as something for which they need to make an apology, or who at least wish there were no such thing. While some would not go so far as to openly admit that they consider it a blemish on the Divine character, yet they are far as regarding it with delight; they like not to think about it, and they rarely hear it mentioned without a secret resentment rising up in their hearts against it. Even those who are more sober in their judgment, not a few seem to imagine that there is a severity about the Divine wrath that makes it too terrifying to form a theme for profitable contemplation. Others harbor the delusion that God’s wrath is not consistent with His goodness, and so seek to banish it from their thoughts. … But what [says] the Scriptures? As we turn to them we find that God has made no attempt to conceal the facts concerning His wrath. He is not ashamed to make it known that vengeance and fury belong unto Him. … A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness. Because God is holy, He hates all sin; and because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner [Psalm 7:11 | God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day].
Romans 1:18 | For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
Romans 9:22 | What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.
- Gk. orge [pronounced: or-gay] – noun / means: A vigorous upsurge of one’s nature against someone or something [translated:] anger, wrath, indignation … (2) as the divine reaction against evil, bringing judgment and punishment both historically and in the future[.]
Psalm 6:1 | O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger [aph], nor discipline me in your wrath [chemah]. [ESV] / [“hot displeasure” – KJV]
- He. aph [prounounced af] – means: It is the word for “nose” or “face” – How such a word came to be used to express wrath has been traditionally explained by the common notion that “snorting” or “wheezing” through the nose is indicative of anger.
- He. chemah [pronounced khay-maw] – means: has the primary meaning of “heat” but most frequently is translated with “fury” or “wrath”. The KJV captures the intensity of the emotion expressed with this term by rendering it … as “hot displeasure” (Deut. 9:19; Pss. 6:1; 38:1). basically equivalent to the English “to love” in the sense of having a strong emotional attachment to and desire either to posses or be in the presence of the object.
Holman Bible Dictionary
Wrath, Wrath of God – Used to express several emotions, including anger, indignation, vexation, grief, bitterness, and fury. It is the emotional response to perceived wrong and injustice. … When used of God, wrath refers to His absolute opposition to sin and evil. … God’s wrath is not capricious [fickle/whimsical] but is always a moral and ethical reaction to sin. … God’s wrath is real, severe, and personal. The idea that God is not angry with sinners belongs neither to the OT not to the NT. God is a personal moral being who is unalterably opposed to evil and takes personal actions against it. Wrath is the punitive righteousness of God by which He maintains His moral order, which demands justice and retribution for injustice.
If God loves all that is right and good, and all that conforms to his moral character, then it should not be surprising that he would hate everything that is opposed to his moral character. God’s wrath directed against sin is therefore closely related to God’s holiness and justice. God’s wrath may be defined as follows: God’s wrath means that he intensely hates all sin. … As with the other attributes of God, this is an attribute for which we should thank and praise God. … we rightly imitate this attribute of God when we feel hatred against great evil, injustice, and sin.
A. W. Pink
The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which He passes upon evildoers. …divine wrath is one of the perfections of God … [is] clearly established by the expressed declaration of His own Word.
- Romans 1:18 | For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.
- Psalm 95:11 | So I swore in My wrath, They [Israel] shall not enter into my rest.
- 2 Corinthians 5:11 | Knowing therefore the terror [fear of His wrath] of the Lord, we persuade men …
Steven J. Lawson
The wrath of God is an expression of His holiness.
The wrath of God is a necessity of His holiness.
- This is because God is infinitely pure and hates sin and loves righteousness. He cannot be neutral toward sin. He must judge against all impurity – the opposite of His
Characteristics of God’s Wrath
- It is Abiding – God’s wrath is abiding on the world now.
- Individuals – Romans 1:18 | The wrath of God is revealed from heaven. / Cf. “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards.
- Nations – Psalm 2:12 | Kiss the Son, lest He be angry … His wrath is kindled but a little.
- It is Catastrophic – God’s wrath can utterly destroy all in its path.
- The Genesis Flood – Genesis 6:9-13 | … And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
- Sodom and Gomorrah – Genesis 19:13 | For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.
- Earth and the heavens will be dissolved – 2 Peter 3:12 | looking for and hastening the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with a fervent heat. Cf. Jude vv. 14-15.
- It is Consequential – You reap what you sow!
- Galatians 6:7 | Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for what ever a man sows, that he will also receive.
- Herod the king – allowed himself to worship as god – Acts 12:20-23 | The Lord struck him because he did not give glory to God.
- Revelation 19:20 | The beast and the false prophet were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. Cf. Revelation 20:10.
- It is Abandonment – Reject God and His gospel He will abandon you!
- Romans 1:24, 26, 26 | God gave them over …
- Proverbs 1:24-29 | They will seek me diligently, but they will not find Me.
- It is Eternal – God’s wrath will last forever
- Nations that reject Him – Matthew 25:31-46 | All these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
- Individuals – not of God – Revelation 20:12-15 | Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
- Not to be Feared in Jesus Christ – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, 10 | … wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
God’s wrath is awesome …it is part of God’s being, it is His very nature, as much as His love or holiness. His wrath is perfect and non-prejudicial as to respect of persons. Consequently those who face His wrath can be assured that it is dispensed justly and correctly – Genesis 18:25.
Numbers 16:41-50 | … Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. …
Psalm 2:2-6 | … The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed … He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.
Psalm 88:15-18 | I have been afflicted … I suffer Your terrors; I am distraught. Your fierce wrath has gone over me … they engulf me altogether. …
Romans 9:22 | What if God wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.
Ephesians 2:1-3 | And you He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked … [conducting] ourselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-9 | … Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. … For God di not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 16:19 | … great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
 A. W. Pink, Attributes, 82-83.
 USB, 521; Friberg, 284.
 Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 1688.
 Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 1688.
 Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 1688-1689.
 F&W Dictionary, vol. 1, 92.
 Grudem, 205-206.
 Pink, Attributes, 83-84 (adapted).
 Lawson, “The Wrath of God”.
 Holloman, Kregel Dict., 598.