December 17

Psalm 80:1-7

“O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?” vs. 4

Horrible things had been happening in Israel. External enemies had attacked and overrun the country. People had been praying that the Lord would appear and lead their armies to victory, but nothing had happened. There had been no rescuer or savior…so the psalmist assumes that the Lord is angry with the prayers. He probably wasn’t the first to think such a thing and he certainly wasn’t the last. People of all times and places have assumed that the reason things weren’t going well for them was because God was angry. Religious leaders have generally affirmed such feelings and told believers that God needed to be appeased before prosperity would return. Increased offerings and more generous sacrifices would probably be necessary to get back in God’s favor. The truth is that God is not angry! Jesus said that God doesn’t reward some and not others because God loves all. Rain falls on the just and the unjust! God’s love is for the whole world. Too many people have spent their entire lives convinced that God was angry and they were being punished, and it’s about time that we stop thinking that way. There is suffering in the world…that’s obvious…and it remains a great mystery. But God is the one who brings healing and restoration…and God regularly smiles on us all, and never gets angry with our prayers!

Thought for the Day: Why do people sometimes think that God is angry?

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