For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners. “I create the fruit of the lips: peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” says the Lord, “and I will heal him.” (Isaiah 57:15-19)
He Will Not Always Be Angry
God hates sin. For this reason He sacrificed His only begotten Son. The measure of the sacrifice shows the depravity of the situation. Man was not just a bad person. He did not simply do something wrong. Sin was a death, a separation of rebellion and dishonor to the Holy name of Jehovah. It was not just because Adam and Eve ate some fruit in the garden that made sin so terrible. The realization of what happened in the garden is that Adam and Eve would sin over and over again. The first man lived to the age of 930 years. He was a righteous man by all indications but imagine how many times he would sin in nearly one thousand years. He did not live a sinless life and needed the grace of God.
As children of Adam we struggle with the temptation of sin constantly. Paul the apostle called himself the worst sinner on earth. Satan gains victories in our lives even when we battle courageously against him. We share in the place of Paul as being the worse sinners because we can never overcome sin to live a life of perfection. We do good for a period of time and then something comes along and we love the sin more than the Father. In godly sorrow we beg forgiveness. There comes a realization over time that sin will always be a struggle and we begin to wonder if the Lord will continue to forgive us over and over again. How can He? Why should He?
God hates sin and it makes Him very angry. This anger may be accompanied with a chastisement for the spirit of rebellion in His children. Israel is an example of the nature of God and sin. They were His special people but they had rebelled against Him and He was very angry with them. Because of their sin He brought the Assyrians and Babylonians to punish them; and how great a punishment it was. Isaiah is reminding the people that while the Lord is angry with them His fury will not be forever. He is looking for those contrite spirits who feel the chastisement of His mercy and seek forgiveness. The Lord desires humble hearts to bow before Him begging for His grace. It is then God removes the sin and gives the child forgiveness. Peace returns.
The grace and mercy of God is everlasting. Like Israel we will rebel at times in our lives. No man or woman today is not challenged by sin. It becomes a daily challenge. While sin may have its way in our lives the joy of salvation knows that God will not always be angry (although He is angry when we sin). With broken hearts mourning our sin and contrite spirits of repentance bringing our souls before the throne of a merciful God – He forgives us and removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. Grace. Love. Joy. Peace. Healing.
In a few days we will gather with disciples of the same faith to worship our God of mercy. When the songs of praise are lifted high to His throne remember that His anger is not forever. As the incense of prayers flow to His nostrils know that His love is always abounding toward us. The supper of Jesus Christ is the testimony of remembrance that God hated sin so much He gave (think about that word) His Son for MY sin – and through His Son said He will not always be angry. He forgives a broken and contrite heart. The preaching of the word of God is the message of grace from a loving Father. Make each day a time of worship to thank God He is not always angry. Thank you Lord God Almighty full of mercy and abounding grace.
The Old Testament teaching about God’s wrath finds its logical expression in the statement of the Psalmist: “His wrath is for a moment, His faithfulness life-long” Psalm 30:6. (Edmond Jacob, Theology of the Old Testament, 1955)