Biblical definition of anger:
James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, v20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
Jonah – Jonah 1-4; 2 Kings 14:25; Matthew12:39-41; Luke 11:29, 32
Jonah was the son of Amittai. He was a prophet from Gath-hepher during the reign of Jeroboam ll, Israel’s most powerful king. Jonah 1:3 “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed to Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
Jonah is known for his:
Disobedience and its consequence:
Jonah 1:1-17. When God instructs Jonah to go to Nineveh and announce God’s judgment for their wickedness. Instead of going to Nineveh, he boarded a ship at Joppa with the hope to escape from the LORD. The consequence was that the LORD caused a violent storm, which made the sailors fear for their life. When they confronted Jonah, he asks them to throw him overboard. The sailors were reluctant to do it, but when the sea became too violent, they pleaded with the LORD not to hold them responsible for his death. As soon as they threw him overboard, the storm stopped at once. We see in v17 that the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah. He was inside the fish for three days and three nights. (Jesus used this metaphor in Matthew 12:38-41 and it is known as: “The sign of Jonah.”)
Jonah 2:1-10 While inside the fish Jonah prays to the LORD. He realises that he had been saved from drowning and had escaped certain death.
Preaching in Nineveh
Jonah 3:1-10 God gives Jonah a second chance to preach in Nineveh. He must only preach what God tells him–a doom message. The city was so large that it took him three days to see it all.
Jonah’s anger at the LORD’S mercy
Jonah 4:1-11 In verse 2 we read the reason why Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh. First Jonah became angry because the Ninevites had been saved; then he gets angry because the plant God had provided had died.
God arranged for a leafy plant to give Jonah’s head some shading from the sun. Next, God arranged for a worm to eat the plant and then God sends a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah.
God could have destroyed Jonah for his anger, but instead, he teaches him a lesson. God’s mercy and compassion were not only for Jonah or Israel. It extends to everyone who repents and believes.
What the Bible teaches about anger.
In Exodus 3:11-4:13, we see that Moses protested five times with God not to use him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Four times God reassured him that He will be with him.
1) Moses and the people would return to Mount Sinai to worship God at the mountain;
2) Moses was to tell the people God is: “I AM WHO I AM”
3) God showed him two miracles: The shepherd’s staff turned into a snake and when he put his hand inside his cloak, “it was as white as snow with a severe skin disease” when he took it out. When he put it back inside his cloak it came out healthy
4) When Moses protested that he was not very good with words, God reassures him that He will instruct him on what to say.
When Moses protested the fifth time, Exodus 4:14a Then the LORD’S anger burnt against Moses.
Numbers 12:1-16 In this passage Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. They questioned whether the LORD had only spoken through Moses and not them, and the LORD heard them. V9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and He left them. V10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous.
Judges 2:10-15 The Israelites did evil in the LORD’S sight by serving images of Baal. God’s anger against Israel was to hand them over to their enemies. In v15 we read that every time they went out to battle the LORD fought against them
Psalm 37:1-8 Anger, rage and losing our temper can be very destructive, showing a lack of faith that God loves us. We never have to fear, because when Jesus lives in our hearts, we can know for certain that He is in control of our lives.
Proverbs 22:24-25 These two verses warn us to be wary of whom we spend our time with.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “bad company corrupts good character.” Choose to be friends with people who have the same qualities you have.
Matthew 5-7 is known as the “Sermon on the Mount” or “The Beatitudes.” In one of the passages, Jesus teaches about anger. Matthew 5:21-26 Jesus says that to be angry is the same as murder, calling someone Raca (In Greek a word of contempt), or cursing (Greek “a fool”) are in “danger of the fire of hell.
John 2:12-17 This account of Jesus clearing the Temple area is the first account where Jesus was angry by the way the Temple was being misused. The people had turned it into a marketplace.
Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:12-19; Luke 19:45-48 All three of these Gospels describe the second time Jesus cleared the Temple. This happened at the end of Jesus’ ministry, which was about three years later. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.
Romans 1:18-32 In this passage Paul describes God’s anger at sin; the reason is that people have substituted the truth about Him with a lie. Even though God wants to remove our sins, God will not tolerate sin and He will show His anger against those who persist in sin.
Colossians 3:1-10 When we become true Christians, our behaviour should change. We are now living a new life and therefore we need to get rid of the sinful, earthly things that control our minds and actions. v8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Righteous anger is when you become angry about what angers God. We need to remember that God is just and He is angry with sinners every day.
Psalm 7:1-17 – David wrote this Psalm as a request to God for justice. We can pray this Psalm when we are “falsely” accused and against those who make slanderous remarks about us. Notice David did not take revenge; instead, he took it to the Lord in prayer
There are times that we “vent, lash out” our anger with foolish words or deeds, to hurt others.
The problem is that once it has been said or done we cannot retract it.
Proverbs 29:11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
The opposite of “venting or lashing out” when angry is to “clam up” This usually leads to bitterness in your heart.
It is like a boil –an infection where the skin turns red and a tender lump develops which is very painful. The boil usually bursts and can be very messy. It is the same with anger that is “clammed up”:
Ephesians 4:17-31 As Christians we should live as “Children of the light.”
God’s Word has many verses and passages that command us to control our anger.
Psalm 37:8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm. (NLT)
Proverbs 15:1 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil.
Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, v27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
Responding in Prayer:
Read Psalm 4:1-8 – How to deal with anger in our everyday life.
The best thing to do, when you allow anger to control your emotion, is, to talk to God about the anger you are feeling at that moment. Ask God to help you express it directly to the person you are angry with, doing it with love and gentleness. In the New Living Translation verse 4 of this Psalm says we should not let anger control us, instead we should think about it overnight and remain silent. It is repeated in Ephesians 4:26. Read Matthew 6:14 again to remind you what Jesus taught about forgiveness.
Journal – Scripture/Prayers/Thoughts: