The Lord is angry at Israel. What does that mean? For certain it means that Israel sinned. Why does that make God angry?
Why does sin make God so angry? Why does He hate sin? Why must it be destroyed? This anger ends with 70,000 dead Hebrews. What’s going on?
We must always remember that God is love and God is good. He never stops being good. He never stops loving. This all had to be motivated by love. God always loves. His steadfast love endures forever. Where is the love in the anger and destruction? Do you see it?
God loves His people. They are His adopted children you could say because He chose them. The Bible calls us God’s adopted children too. Apply this lesson to your own life!
God desires that all might be saved because God loves everyone. They were all created to be with Him. His desire is to be with them. His desire is for all of them, including you, to be with Him because He loves you and with Him is the place of safety, provision, excellence, goodness, joy, peace, and true love, not to mention the place of everlasting life. With Him is the best place to be. He knows that apart from Him is only death. Wouldn’t you want your loved ones to live?! He wants what is best for His children because He loves us.
There must have been people in Israel turning from Him. There are always sinners. Why do they sometimes get away with it and sometimes get destroyed?
Peter tells us that God is patient, not wanting any to perish. He doesn’t just kill all the sinners the moment they sin. We’d all be dead. His will for us is life. When a Christian willfully sins, God would be just if He swallowed them in a sinkhole or sent a plague. He doesn’t. Jesus Himself pleads our case before the Father to stay God’s wrath to give us opportunity to repent and return to safety. (referencing Heb. 10:26-27 and 1 John 2:1)
But there is a time when He rightfully chooses suffering to show us the seriousness of our sin or to wake us up and draw us back to Himself. And there is a time of wrath, when destruction must come in order to preserve the whole. Sin is a spreading disease. If those members of the body can’t be restored (and God knows), then they must be cut off to protect the rest of the body.
God hates this. It makes Him angry. He loves His people!