Today’s Scripture: I Thessalonians 5:9-11
9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
I remember sitting in a seminary class once and the professor was talking about… well, he was talking about theology – about what God is like. And as he went on and on, I began thinking to myself “wow – your God is really angry.” And of course, there are plenty of Old Testament Bible verses that seem to back up this version of God.
There are people who live their lives convinced that this version of God is the true version – that God is mad and taking it out on them. They use words like “punishment”, and “retribution”, and “God’s justice” or “God’s holiness”. But whatever words they use the concept is the same: God is angry and is pouring that anger out on us. In this view every natural disaster, every car crash, every global pandemic, could well be God’s way of expressing anger and getting back at us.
And I have to admit that I find myself struggling with this version of God sometimes. That seminary professor was wrong. But I still hear his words ringing in my ears sometimes. Maybe you hear little voices like that too – telling you that God is going to get you or that God is so angry with you that something bad might happen. Or, when something does happen you start to wonder what you did to “deserve it”.
That’s why passages like this one in Thessalonians are so important. Paul reminds us that God does not pour out his anger on us – no matter what a seminary professor says.
As we start to move through the letters of Paul, we need to remember the Jesus of Luke. Jesus never “poured out anger” on anyone. And Jesus shows us God.
So when you are tempted today or this weekend to assign blame for your troubles (or someone else’s troubles) to “angry God” – take a moment and remember that God’s love is what drives God’s actions – not anger. Look for love. That’s where you’ll find God.
God thank you for sending Jesus to show us your love.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Day 6 61-70 Acts 1:1-6:7
Day 7 70-82 Acts 6:8-12:25
Day 8 82-94 Acts 13:1-19-:20
Day 9 95-110 Acts 19:21-28:30
Day 10 111-123 1Th 1:1-2Th 3:18