Today's Reading: Micah 7:18-20
He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. (Micah 7:18b)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Doesn't it feel good to be mad? If someone wrongs you (even if it's a petty thing) there's nothing more satisfying than stewing on it and thinking about all the things you could have or should have done to get even. Maybe you actually did one of them. Best feeling in the world, right?
While in the midst of anger it feels so good to be mad, once it subsides you generally will realize how foolish it was to be angry. Rarely will it accomplish anything for you, and never will it accomplish something good for the one you're angry with.
So God forbids anger and everything that grows from it. Jesus teaches that anger is wrapped up in the Fifth Commandment, and that if you're angry, you've already committed murder (Matthew 5:21-22). Yet here the Prophet Micah says that God is angry. Does that mean that God sins?
The anger of God is entirely different than human anger. For one thing, our anger is always self-serving, while God's anger is just and serves another. Yet even His just anger is not proper to who He is, and His anger will give way to something better.
"He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love." This is simply a restatement of the summary of the Ten Commandments. "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments" (Exodus 20:5-6).
God's wrath and anger are indeed severe--lasting to great-grandchildren. But the love of God is so much greater--a thousand generations! The world has not yet seen a thousand generations, which is to say that His love endures forever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
All glory to our Lord and God For love so deep, so high, so broad;
The Trinity whom we adore Forever and forevermore. (O Love, How Deep, LSB 544:7)