We tend to be taken aback by the thought that God could be angry. How can a deity who is perfect and loving ever be angry?.. We take pride in our tolerance of the excesses of others. So what is God's problem?.. But love detests what destroys the beloved. Real love stands against the deception, the lie, the sin that destroys. Nearly a century ago the theologian E.H. Glifford wrote: 'Human love here offers a true analogy: the more a father loves his son, the more he hates in him the drunkard, the liar, the traitor.'.. Anger isn't the opposite of love. Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference.. How can a good God forgive bad people without compromising himself? Does he just play fast and loose with the facts? 'Oh, never mind.. Boys will be boys'. Try telling that to a survivor of the Cambodian 'killing fields' or to someone who lost an entire family in the Holocaust. No. To be truly good one has to be outraged by evil and implacably hostile to injustice.
God will not let any violence go unpunished, but He Himself will take vengeance on our enemies and will send home to them what they have deserved by the way they have treated us. As He Himself says (Deut. 23: 55): Vengeance is Mine, I will repay. On the basis of this, St. Paul admonishes the Christians (Rom. 12: 19): Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God. These words are not only instruction but also consolation, as if He were to say: Do not take it upon yourselves to avenge yourselves on one another or to speak curses and maledictions. The person that does you harm or injury is interfering with the office of God and sinning against God as gravely as this man has sinned against you. Therefore, keep your fist to yourself. Leave it to the charge of His wrath and punishing, for He will not let it remain unavenged, and His punishment is more severe than you would like. This man has not assailed you but God Himself, and has already fallen into His wrath. He will not escape this. No one ever has. So why get angry with him when the anger of God, immensely greater and more severe than the anger and punishment of the whole world, has already come upon him and has already avenged itself more thoroughly than you ever could? Besides, he has not injured you one tenth as much as he has injured God. When you see him lying under the severe condemnation, why so many curses and threats of vengeance? Rather you should take pity on his plight, and pray for him to be rescued from it and to reform.