“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18 NKJV
As I was reading through Romans 1 last night, my heart stopped at Romans 1:18 and had a moment of awe, along with a little reminder – it’s good to walk in the fear of the Lord because our God is a God of justice and His wrath is aimed at those who despise Him in thought, word, and action; and His wrath is witnessed in different ways. People tend to want to justify their sin and situation with whatever comes to their mind, failing to realize that if they have sinned against God that “natural” consequence is an indication that they have violated His moral law and they need to repent; in addition, John MacArthur indicates, God’s wrath is also witnessed in His direct intervention with sin, illustrated in Adam and Eve’s removal from the garden, the flood, the decimation of Sodom and the Babylonian captivity.Jesus on the cross, drinking the cup of the wrath of God, is also a clear indication of God’s anger at sin – Psalm 75:8; Matthew 20:22, 26:39. Therefore, His wrath is visible in different ways, saved for those who refuse a relationship with Him, adhering to His ways. For instance, He has:
- Eternal wrath – all who refuse Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will go to hell.
- Eschatological wrath – the day of the Lord – Revelation 6:17.
- Cataclysmic wrath – floods, earthquakes – Matthew 24:7.
- Consequential wrath – individuals will reap what they have sown – Galatians 5:7.
- Wrath of abandonment – people making their decision to sin and God allowing them to – Romans 1:24-32, and Psalm 81:11-12 NLT “But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas.”
Romans 1:18 is a gem declaring God’s love for His own. I love it! What protection we have under the King of kings. This verse reminds me of Isaiah 66:2 NLT where God says, “My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.”
I personally want to be blessed, so I have chosen to humble myself under the One and only true King. I love the promise of eternity in heaven and truly love the abundance blessings bring to life on earth. Win-win!
The writing is on the wall, though, for those who choose their own way. The Bible clearly defines God’s wrath as a calculated response of His righteousness to persistent evil – and if you notice through Scripture, His wrath increases in intensity with evil’s resolution – Genesis 6-7, Revelation 6-9.
God loves righteousness and hates wickedness – Psalm 45:7. He hates sin and it’s destruction. He hears the cries of every person suffering under injustice. As the psalmist said in Psalm 77:7-10 NLT, “No wonder you are greatly feared! Who can stand before you when your anger explodes? From heaven you sentenced your enemies; the earth trembled and stood silent before you. You stand up to judge those who do evil, O God, and to rescue the oppressed of the earth. Human defiance only enhances your glory, for you use it as a weapon.”
Human defiance is witnessed in those who try to override God’s declared truth with their own objective, as if their way is lasting. They suppress the truth, as if they can stand in the eternal light with that heart and behavior; and yet we know all who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed – John 3:20. It is unrighteous behavior; a person consistently refusing to renew their wrong thoughts, wrong words, and wrong actions by the word of God.
God is so kind and gracious and is patiently waiting for people to turn to Him in repentance, not desiring for any to perish in eternal affliction – 2 Peter 3:9; but there is a day when His waiting game ends. Every individual who refuses to walk in the fear of the Lord will experience His wrath. My prayer today is that people would realize He takes no pleasure in the death of those who refuse Him; He desires all to turn and live – Ezekiel 18:31-32.
Abba, I lift up all of the individuals who are experiencing some type of injustice today. Lord would You comfort their hearts with Your promises? For those who have experienced many years of injustice, I ask for Your promises to be fulfilled if that is Your will. You alone know the perfect day and time for people to experience Your promises coming to fruition here on earth. Love the psalmists heart in Psalm 27:13“I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Your goodness is revealed in so many different ways. One way is your promises fulfilled here on earth. You alone know how much we can take. Thank You for being an ever present God, involved in every one of Your children’s lives. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to drink Your cup of wrath that we never could. We all fall short of Your glory. We all deserve death. And yet You in Your love made a way for every one of us to stand justified in Your sight just as if we never sinned. I pray we don’t take the cross for granted, but rejoice in Your love. And King, for all those who are stubbornly refusing to turn from their evil ways, I ask for Your will to be done in their life. You know them perfectly. You are the One that softens hearts. You are the One that removes the heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh – Ezekiel 36:26. You also see all of those who will refuse to repent of their sins, and You see every person who will be hurt by them in their sin. So I ask for Your divine intervention in those situations, and that unrepentant person removed. I ask for protection for the people who are greatly injured by those, and I thank You in advance. Nothing is beyond You and we thank You for that Sovereignty in action. You see the bigger picture always. Thank You for this promise in Micah 7:15-16, “’Yes,’ says the LORD, ‘I will do mighty miracles for you, like those I did when I rescued you from slavery in Egypt.’ All the nations of the world will stand amazed at what the LORD will do for you. They will be embarrassed at their feeble power. They will cover their mouths in silent awe, deaf to everything around them.” People will tremble at Your presence Lord – Micah 7:17; and we praise You for Your omnipresence! In Jesus name, Amen.
John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010, pg. 1649.