Prayer for the day
Listen, my God, listen to us; open your eyes and look at our plight and at the city that bears your name. Relying not on your upright deeds but on your great mercy, we pour out our plea to you. Listen, Lord! Forgive, Lord! Hear, Lord, and act! For your own sake, my God do not delay-since your city and your people alike bear your name.
Scripture for the day
The wrath of God is not a very popular discussion point these days. Most people don’t want to hear that God may become angry, that the anger of God might result in more than just a little discomfort, or that God would ever want to punish the wickedness of humanity.
Yet despite its unpopularity, the scriptures are full of descriptions of the wrath of God. The distinction they make, however, between God’s wrath and our wrath is that God’s wrath is appropriate and justified. There is never a question in the scriptures that what God does is done for good reasons. The same is true with regard to the destructive sequences in Amos. Amos sees God overthrowing the people of Israel in His wrath, but the reason is made clear: they have failed to be the people they were supposed to be, and instead have become the people who despise God. So they need discipline in order to be restored.
This discipline leading to restoration is more poignantly described in John’s Revelation, where the wrath of God is poured out upon creation for its wickedness. The call of God here is to seek Him, regardless of the circumstance, that we might live in His favour. The wrath that is described in Revelation is terrifying, but it is not described for us so that we might be hopeless. Rather, the wrath of God is clearly described for our benefit, that we might know the love and concern of God for His people, and that we might follow Him into Joy.