Weekly Bible Study #28
This week I’d like to discuss anger, and in particular a type of anger that we don’t hear talked about too often and thus is often shrouded in mystery. What we are going to talk about is “Righteous anger.” For starters, what exactly is righteous anger?
Righteous Anger is anger directed toward things that are against God or anger against sin. Righteous anger is inspired by things done to God or someone else such as blasphemy, murders, wrongdoings etc.
Mark 3:1-5 (NKJV)
3 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
As we see in that last scripture Jesus was angry at the Pharisees because he knew they were simply waiting for him to violate the laws regarding not working on the Sabbath.
Next we see Nehemiah being angered when he learned of people being unfairly taxed.
Nehemiah 5:4-7 (NKJV)
4 There were also those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our lands and vineyards. 5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards.”
6 And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. 7 After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them.
“Usury” is defined as “The illegal action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest.”
Of course how can we forget when Jesus cleared the temple.
John 2:14-16 (NKJV)
14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
Jesus saw that people had seized the opportunity to use the church as a place to sell merchandise and make profits. This upset Him so he made Himself a whip and cleaned house.
Now there are many more examples in scripture of Jesus and other men of God becoming angered over man’s sinfulness, even David vividly expressed his anger to God in the book of Psalms. We see a pattern though in all of the scriptures, in each occurrence the anger is triggered in response to an injustice or due to sin.
For example when you hear about a shooting where many innocent people die, that is something that would trigger righteous anger, or when we hear of the many exploits of Westboro.
The key in all this is that its normal to be angered by acts against God and his laws, but we are not to let this anger cause us to sin.
Ephesians 4:26 (AMP)
26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.
Clearly here we are told not to sin when we are angry. There is a very big difference between simply being angry, and acting on it.
Anger over someone cutting you off on the road is not righteous, nor is anger over your favorite team losing on a game. I’ll leave you with this scripture from the Book of Romans
Romans 12:19-21 (NKJV)
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.