The wrath of God is not vindictive in nature but vindicative. It is a holy indignation of sin which is in direct contradiction to God’s Holiness.
“And He (Jesus) entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
2 And they watched Him, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath Day; that they might accuse Him.
3 And He said unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
4 And He said unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
5 And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He said unto the man, Stretch forth your hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” Mark 3:1-5
God’s Will is not to punish via His Wrath, for Jesus was grieved at the hardness of the Pharisees heart, but to vindicate that which is holy and pure. One can easily understand the vindicating effect, the validation of His Righteousness, in Jesus’ anger when the man’s withered hand was restored. Jesus’ anger, His Wrath, was not vindictive toward the Pharisees but vindicated the lame.
“13 And they brought young children to Him (Jesus), that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Mark 10:13-15
Not only are the wicked Pharisees subjected to God’s Wrath but so are His Disciples. Again, this is not for punishment but for correction. Jesus was displeased with His Disciples who forbid the children to come unto Him. The sting of the Lord’s vindication of the children was not vindictive towards His Disciples but was nevertheless unpleasant for His Disciples.
Many professing Christians would prefer to believe that the Lord is never displeased with them no matter their disobedience and lack of consecration to His Word. The circumstances which causes the displeasure in their heart is rebuked and credited to the works of satan. Their life is spent rebuking and blaming the devil for the unpleasant feelings associated with grieving the Holy Spirit.
“6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chastens not?
8 But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.” Hebrews 12:6-8
Recognize the chastening of the Lord. It is not vindictive but vindicates against the sin which contradicts God’s Holiness. When circumstance are unpleasant, consider that which the Lord is vindicating…HIS Holiness; then seek to understand your own heart in the matter. Has our faith been placed in something we must do other than faith in the Cross of Christ to obtain righteousness? Is God displeased with us for following traditions of man and vain philosophies instead of His Word? Have we tried the spirits and searched the Scriptures to see whether these things were so? Is Jesus Christ the Source and His Cross the means by which we receive from God or has Jesus been reduced to a an example and His Cross unnecessary for daily living for God?
-Donna Clark Warren