WHAT MAKES GOD MAD?
Sin is literally “failing” or “missing” the target. We all fall short of bearing the image of God perfectly. It is an opportunity to recalibrate and try again. A child learning to walk falls and gets back up and eventually falls less. A good parent is not mad at the child for falling, God is cheering us on as we grow up into his image.
But that’s not the whole story. There are some things that make God mad. As with a good parent, if the older brother of that child who is learning to walk keeps pushing her down, the Father will speak up. If that older brother keeps doing it, the Father will get angry and intervene. God gets mad when his kids hurt each other — especially when strong ones pick on the weak.
This theme is found throughout the Bible, but is especially prominent in the Old Testament prophets. After pronouncing judgement on the nations around Israel for their violence and exploitation of the land and the poor, Amos condemns the transgressions of Israel. They have perverted justice for financial gain, oppressed the poor, exploited women, and used taxation and debt to benefit themselves at the expense of the needy. This makes God mad. It’s even worse when his people do it. They were supposed to be different.
Mad about Transgressions
Sunday, we will look at the wrath of God against sin and the justice of God that promises to make things right. How do we hold this in tension with the grace of God revealed in Jesus? Honestly and carefully, to be sure. But we must hold to the truth that God is mad about injustice and God madly loves the people who act unjustly. He even wants to heal them and change them into the kind of people who reflect his own goodness and justice. Thank God for that. Because those people are us.