Sick of Religion? Week 8: Devotional Day 4
DAY 4 – Thursday
Mark 11:15-17, Psalm 79
It is rare to consider Jesus’ anger – we prefer to dwell on Jesus meek and mild. This passage depicts a righteous anger against injustice, sin, and the defilement of God’s name. How can you relate to righteous anger? Where has God put a burning passion inside of you to fight against sin on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, the unjustly treated? When is it okay to be angry?
We touched on Jesus anger on Day 1. We realize that Jesus does not sin when he is angry. Rather his righteous anger has a purpose. In the Matthew passage, his anger compels him to cleanse the temple, and then he begins to teach about why he was angry – the defilement of the temple by those in power.
In Psalm 79, we see a similar situation. The leaders of nations have laid waste to the temple, as a consequence of the sins of Israel. The psalmist asks, “How long will you be angry?” He acknowledges the sins of the people, and implores the God of Salvation to forgive them, and have compassion on them as a sign to the nations that he has not forgotten them, and still looks on them with favor. He also expresses thanksgiving and praise to God.
This implies that the consequence of their sins has been righteously executed in anger by a God who has every right. How does this sit with you? Do you affirm God’s right to be angry with sin, our sins, the sins of those we love? Have you ever experienced the natural consequence of sin in your life, asked forgiveness, and thanked or praised God for his compassion?
Spend some time today grappling with these questions. Journal or write out a prayer to God, expressing your thoughts, and exploring what God would have you do. When do we have a right to anger? To challenge the actions of others, and stand up for justice? How do we express that anger, and sin not? How do we know our motives are pure in these situations? Can we be fully righteous in our anger? How?