I guess the real moral of the Pentateuch is that people = us–so we’re the Israelites. We’re balking about every decision, doubting every command.
One project I’ve been doing this year is reading the Bible chronologically. And in this project, I’ve been looking at certain things; one is to observe the first occurence of God’s anger.
Surprisingly, all throughout Genesis, even the flood, there is no mention of God’s anger. In fact, the first emotional-related descriptors to him may be “delight” (since “Tove” in Hebrew means delight. This is when he looks on his creation as “Good”). And if that doesn’t count, the description of his grief in Genesis 6 is vivid.
It’s strange–after God’s creatures rebel and abuses his creation, you’d think he would be angry, right? I mean, imagine if your little sister took your prized laptop and dropped it from the balcony. I would be seething. God has every right to anger.
And yet it doesn’t describe him that way.
Going on, he calls Abraham out of Ur. He stays with Isaac. He guides Jacob. Although it may not be the first instance of anger (I’m no Hebrew scholar), the first occurence of anger I saw was Jacob’s anger at Rachel. A man gets angry before God.
And finally, after the first few chapters of Exodus, the first instance of anger happens: at Moses.
“But Moses replied, “Please, Lord, send someone else.” Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He said, “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well, and he is now on his way to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.…”
It isn’t until Moses that the Bible describes God as angry, and even then he responds with patience and control. I think it reminds us that God’s wrath is not like man’s wrath; God is slow to anger.
Until next time,
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love -Ps. 103:8PS- would you like to see a Part 2 on this topic? Comment if so!
2 thoughts on “surprise, surprise: the Israelites are stupid”
yes-what good insights! write more 🙂
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Aww, thank you!