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Righteous Anger- Be Consumed By God

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Righteous Anger? Be Consumed By God.


Psalm 69: 9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.


God expects us in our human nature to get angry. It is too difficult to live in this world, with other human beings and not expect to become angry from time to time. The same applies for Christians and in the church. While the Bible implores us to not let the sun go down on our anger, are there instances where anger is righteous? Where anger is not only understandable to God but acceptable to Him?


To understand righteous anger we need to examine the most obvious example in Scripture. Every gospel tells the story of Jesus over turning the tables and driving out the money changers. The Gospel of John specifically states that Jesus even made a whip out of cords to drive the animals out of the temple. There is no question that Jesus was angry that day. Within these four accounts are the keys to what makes anger righteous. The first thing is righteous anger deals with an injustice:


On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves Mark 11: 15 (NIV)


Jesus is not anti-capitalism. He was not merely angry because people were buying and selling. It was the manner in which they conducted their business, within the house of God no less. Remember it was the time of Passover and sacrifices were being made at the temple. These practices date back as far into Jewish history as the Torah. It is found in the law that sacrifices had to be made for the atonement of sin, as well as for various other things.


"'Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the LORD as a penalty for their sin--one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. Leviticus 5: 7 (NIV)


In addition to burnt offerings there was an entire system of sacrifice which became an integral part of the culture. But as Israel moved from an agrarian culture to a more urban setting, such as in Jerusalem, the sacrifice system remained unchanged. Additionally, many of the Jewish people were now scattered throughout the known lands and often came far to Jerusalem for the Passover. When they arrived at the temple they would need to purchase animals for the various sacrifices they needed to make according to the law.


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