For who knows the power of God’s wrath?

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By Elizabeth Prata

In my Bible reading the other day I read the following:

Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? (Psalm 90:11).

God has fear due Him? Let’s unpack this.

One of God’s expressions of displeasure is wrath. It is the ultimate expression of his displeasure, some would say. I feel it is my duty to present to you honestly and forthrightly, all of God. That means, that even though I am a ministry aimed at women, I do not hide the more “unpalatable” attributes of God in favor of the lovey ones. (As if God could in any way be unpalatable). His anger, His wrath, His displeasure over sin is part of who He is. We should not hide from that. God is all in all, He is every attribute that is holy, wrapped up into one God in Three Persons. In fact, the more the evangelical world focuses on “God is love,” the more I feel compelled to remind that He is also wrath.

You cannot swing a cat in the Psalms without running into His wrath, His anger, or His displeasure. I read Psalm 90. verse 11 states,

Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? (Psalm 90:11).

The ‘fear that is due you’ caught me. Here it means the awe-inspired reverence due our God because of who He is.

Matthew Henry’s Whole Commentary on the Bible says,

“They are taught by all this to stand in awe of the wrath of God (v. 11): Who knows the power of thy anger? 1. None can perfectly comprehend it. The psalmist speaks as one afraid of God’s anger, and amazed at the greatness of the power of it; who knows how far the power of God’s anger can reach and how deeply it can wound? The angels that sinned knew experimentally the power of God’s anger; damned sinners in hell know it; but which of us can fully comprehend or describe it?”

“Few do seriously consider it as they ought. Who knows it, so as to improve the knowledge of it? Those who make a mock at sin, and make light of Christ, surely do not know the power of God’s anger. For, according to thy fear, so is thy wrath; God’s wrath is equal to the apprehensions which the most thoughtful serious people have of it; let men have ever so great a dread upon them of the wrath of God, it is not greater than there is cause for and than the nature of the thing deserves.”

“God has not in his word represented his wrath as more terrible than really it is; nay, what is felt in the other world is infinitely worse than what is feared in this world. Who among us can dwell with that devouring fire? Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 876)”.

Charles Spurgeon said

Verse 11. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Moses saw men dying all around him: he lived among funerals, and was overwhelmed at the terrible results of the divine displeasure. He felt that none could measure the might of the Lord’s wrath. Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

Holy Scripture when it depicts God’s wrath against sin never uses an hyperbole; it would be impossible to exaggerate it. Whatever feelings of pious awe and holy trembling may move the tender heart, it is never too much moved; …What the power of God’s anger is in hell, and what it would be on earth, were it not in mercy restrained, no man living can rightly conceive.

Modern thinkers rail at Milton and Dante, Bunyan and Baxter, for their terrible imagery; but the truth is that no vision of poet, or denunciation of holy seer, can ever reach to the dread height of this great argument, much less go beyond it.

The wrath to come has its horrors rather diminished than enhanced in description by the dark lines of human fancy; it baffles words, it leaves imagination far behind. Beware ye that forget God lest he tear you in pieces and there be none to deliver. God is terrible out of his holy places. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah! Remember Korah and his company! Mark well the graves of lust in the wilderness!

Nay, rather bethink ye of the place where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched. Who is able to stand against this justly angry God? Who will dare to rush upon the bosses of his buckler, or tempt the edge of his sword? Be it ours to submit ourselves as dying sinners to this eternal God, who can, even at this moment, command us to the dust, and thence to hell.–-end Spurgeon

The false teacher will want to redirect your thinking from these sad but essential truths. Payment for sin must occur. Jesus took God’s wrath bodily on the cross for the sins of all who would believe. Those who refuse to repent of their sins will pay for it themselves. This is something we must keep in mind every day- the untenable position of the ungodly. For who can stand when God’s wrath is unleashed?

A balanced view of God is necessary for proper worship. We who are saved have escaped that wrath by the grace of God and through no merit of our own. Yet millions are still under that dark cloud of hellish expectation. What will it take to remove that cloud and replace it with the beams of holy light? The GOSPEL.

Sharing the truths of His wrath and moving toward the glorious majesties of His character in mercy, grace, and love will do it. But don’t forego the first part! For who can stand when God’s wrath is finally unleashed in full? The dregs, O the dregs,

Psalm 75:8, For a cup is in the hand of Yahweh, and the wine foams; It is full of His mixture, and He pours from this; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs.

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