Anger is a subject that touches every life at some point. We all experience it sooner or later. We all are affected by the anger of others. The real question is, “How do we deal with anger in our lives?” YAHWEH’s Word has much to say about anger in its many forms. There we can find teachings about what to do when we are angry, or how to handle things when someone else is angry.
If this is an area you struggle with why not look at what YAHWEH's Word has to say on the subject. Perhaps you’ll discover a new and more effective way to deal with the anger you encounter – either in yourself or in others.
There are several different words used to express this concept. Not all of them carry the same meaning. Anger can range from a mild irritation, a sense of frustration, or all the way to full-blown rage, or wrath – where someone is angry enough to want to injure or kill someone. And there are several levels in between.
Typically, one of the first things we might think about that we’ve often heard quoted from Scripture is, “Be angry and offend not.” Ephesians 4.26. We know anger can be sinful, but it's not always so. There is a place for “righteous anger”. The struggle is to discern when it’s appropriate and when it’s really sinful.
The very first occurrence of the term "angry" occurs in Genesis 18. Within three verses it occurs twice. Abraham is pleading with YAHWEH to spare the city of Sedom from destruction because of its sin. Abraham is questioning YAHWEH about the basis for the destruction that’s been foretold. In the midst of that questioning we find him asking Him not to be angry (actually, furious) with him for being so bold as to wonder what it would take for Him to spare the city.
What this reveals to us is Abraham’s awareness that YAHWEH is also capable of being angry. We must consider that anger is not always sinful in light of this, for YAHWEH is not capable of sin. This could be very reassuring for us when we become angry. But we need to understand that it’s the reason behind the anger – the motivation of the heart – that really determines whether or not our own anger is an act of sin.
Below, in chronological order as they occur in Scripture, are some of the verses that deal with anger. Please study these verses carefully and prayerfully. Look up the rest of the passage where each verse is found. Try to understand the context of the usage. The context will help you understand what's really being said about the anger involved.
Gen. 18:30: And he said, "Behold now!
Do not be furious with me, my Sovereign,
and I will speak.
Perhaps thirty are found there.”
And He said,
“I will not do it if I find thirty there.” (Re; Sedom & Amorah)
Gen. 45:5: And now, do not be grieved
and do not be angry with yourselves
because you sold me myself here, את
because The Elohim has sent me before you to preserve life,
(Re: Yoseph with his brothers in Egypt.)
Ex. 4:14: And YAHWEH's anger flared up against Moshe.
And He said, “Is not Aharon, the Levite, your brother?
I know that speaking, he himself speaks.
And also behold!
He himself is coming out to meet you.
And he will see you, and he will be glad in his heart.
Ex. 11:8: And all these servants of yours
will come down to me and bow down to me saying,
‘Get out, you and all the people at your feet!’
And after that I will go out.”
And he went out from Pharaoh in fierce anger.
Deuteronomy 4:25: When you
bring forth children
and grow old in the land,
and you do corruptly,
and you make an idol in the likeness of anything,
and you do what is hurtful
in the eyes of YAHWEH, your Elohim, to provoke Him,
(Provoking YAHWEH to anger.)
Deut. 9:27-28: Take note
of Your servants,
Abraham, Yitzhak, and Ya'akob!
Do not turn toward the obstinacy of this people,
or toward their wrongness, or toward their offense
9.28 lest they say, the land from which You have brought us out,
“Indeed, YAHWEH was not able to bring them to the land
of which He spoke to them.
And He hated they themselves. את
He has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.”
(YAHWEH’s response to worshipping other gods.)
Josh. 23.15 And just as every good
word has come upon you
which YAHWEH, your Elohim, has spoken to you,
so also will YAHWEH bring upon you
all the hurtful words themselves את
until He has destroyed you yourselves את
from upon this good land which YAHWEH, your Elohim,
has given to you,
23.16 as you pass over The Covenant itself את
of YAHWEH, your Elohim, by which He has directed
you yourselves, את and you go and you serve other elohim
and you bow down to them!
And the anger of YAHWEH will blaze up against you!
And you will perish quickly from upon the good land
which He has given to you!”
1 Sam. 17:28: And Eli’ab, his oldest brother, listened attentively
as he spoke to the men.
And Eli'ab’s anger flared up against David.
And he said, “Why did you come down here?
And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?
I myself know your arrogance itself את
and the hurtfulness itself את of your heart.
Indeed you have come down to see the battle.” (Man’s jealous anger.)
1 Kings 8:46: When they offend against You,
because there is no one who does not offend,
and You are enraged with them,
and You give them to the adversary,
and they take them captive
to the land of the adversary, far or near,
(Shelomoh’s prayer for the people of Yisra’el.)
2 Kings 17:17-18: And they caused their sons themselves
and their daughters themselves את
to pass over in fire.
And they practiced divination and magic.
And they sold themselves for the sake of doing bad in the eyes of YAHWEH to provoke Him to anger.18 And YAHWEH was exceedingly enraged at Yisra’el.
And He removed them from before His face.
None remained except the tribe of Yahudah alone.
Neh. 5:6: And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. (Nehemiah’s “righteous anger”.)
Psalm 6:1: Oh, YAHWEH, rebuke me not in your anger, nor chasten me in your hot displeasure.
Psalm 7:11 YAHWEH judges the righteous, and YAHWEH is angry with the wicked every day.
Psalm 30:5: For His anger endures but a moment; in His favor is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 37:8: Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not yourself in any manner to do harm.
Psalm 38:3: There is no soundness in my flesh because of your anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
Psalm 76:7: You, even You, are to be feared: and who may stand in Your sight when once You are angry?
Psalm 78:38: But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath.
Psalm 78:49-50: He cast upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil messengers among them. 50 He made a way for His anger. He spared not their life from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;
Prov. 14:17: He that is soon angry deals foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
Prov. 15:1: A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Prov. 15:18: A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.
Prov. 16:32: He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his vital essence than he that takes a city.
Prov. 19:11: The discretion of a man defers his anger; and it is his honor to pass over a violation.
Prov. 21:19: It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
Prov. 22:24: Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you are not to go:
Prov. 29:22: An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in violation.
Isaiah 12:1: And in that day you will say, “I thank You,
because You were enraged with me!
You turn back Your anger and You comfort me.
Jer. 10:24: Oh YAHWEH, correct me, but with judgment; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.
Jer. 21:5: And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
Ezekiel 16:42: So will I make My fury toward you to rest, and My jealousy shall depart from you, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. (There is a time for anger to cease.)
Hosea 14:4: I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for My anger is turned away from him.
Joel 2:13: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto YAHWEH, your Elohim: for He is favorable and compassionate, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the harm.
Jonah 4:9: And YAHWEH said to Jonah, Do you do well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. (Jonah’s selfish anger.)
Nahum 1:3: YAHWEH is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. YAHWEH has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
John 7:23: If a human being receives circumcision on The Sabbath Day in order that The Law of Moshe might not be broken, are you angry at Me because I have made a human being completely healthy on The Sabbath Day? (The anger of the scribes and Pharisees toward The Messiah.)
Matt. 5:22: But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a reason will be liable to the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ will be in liable to The Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (YAHUSHUA to the religious leaders.)
Mark 3:5: And having looked all around at them with wrath, being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Extend your hand!” And he extended it. And his hand was restored healthy, like the other one.
Luke 15:28: “But he was enraged and would not enter. Therefore his father came out and encouraged him. (The brother to the "prodigal son".)
Eph. 4:31: Put away from you all bitterness, and rage, and anger, and outcries, and blaspheming, along with all depravity.
Col. 3:21: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger lest they become discouraged.
Rev. 11:18: And the nations have become enraged. And Your wrath has come; also for the dead to be judged, and compensation to be given to Your servants, the prophets, and to the set apart ones, and to those who revere Your name, small and great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Anger can be used for a good purpose at times. However, more often than not we use it incorrectly. Such use brings with it serious consequences if we fail to correct our actions.
We also see that YAHWEH becomes angry with His people when they disobey or ignore Him. The potential consequences of that situation are horrendous.
We need to be careful how we handle our anger. There is a place for it, but we need to do our best to avoid creating anger in others, especially in YAHWEH Himself. We put ourselves at risk when we stir it up in others.
YAHWEH teaches us to be very patient and slow to anger. We would do well to follow that wisdom. When we do get angry we certainly need to try to keep it from turning into an opportunity for sin.
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