When Good God Gets Angry

When the good God gets angry, will you repent and take His offer?

When Good God Gets AngryWe are familiar with Paul’s words to the Romans “If God is for us, who can be against us?” This is a comforting message to claim when the world turns its back on us. When we feel persecuted and we face people’s angst on us, we know that we got God on our side. If He is on our side, does it matter who is against us?

But what if God has this to say: “I am against you”? Does it matter who is on our side? We can have all the superpowers and the most influential in this world but if God is against us, we know we are in deep trouble.

This is the overwhelming message of God to Nineveh through the Prophet Nahum. Nahum, whose name means “comforted”, or “consolation”, brings a message of destruction for the ruthless city of Nineveh, who was once offered mercy when they repented through Jonah’s reluctant warning a century ago. It is as if they “repented of their repentance”. They turned their backs to the Lord who offered them mercy.

Now they are back from their old, evil ways. Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, brings terror to their neighboring countries, overpowering their enemies. They were so cruel that they would leave cities utterly destroyed. And now that this ruthless nation turns its attention to God’s own people, He finally intervened.

The Lord is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.
But with an overflowing flood
He will make an utter end of its place,
And darkness will pursue His enemies.

What do you conspire against the Lord?
He will make an utter end of it.
Affliction will not rise up a second time.

Nahum 1:7-9 (NKJV)

How do we reconcile God’s wrath with God’s love? Is one primary and the other one secondary? Are they flip sides of the same coin? Or is there no way to bring consistency out of these two natures of God?.

Yet while He is committed to bring about justice, He is a good God – a God full of patience.

When the Bible speaks of vengeance, it is not because about Him getting even because He’s into retaliation. It is not because He wants to get even with all the offenses we have done against Him. What He’s after is for justice to be served. He is a just God in the first place, and should He opt to not to bring justice, He is not worthy to be revered. Being just is one of His unchanging nature. His righteousness and commitment to what is good and just is evidenced by His anger against evil.

Yet while He is committed to bring about justice, He is a good God – a God full of patience.

The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked.

The Lord has His way
In the whirlwind and in the storm,
And the clouds are the dust of His feet.

Nahum 1:3 (NKJV)

God isn’t delighted when the people He created will also be the subject of His wrath. He doesn’t delight in the suffering of the wicked so He gives His people an opportunity to repent. He gives His people an opportunity to see how wrong we have gone, how unruly we have become. He is totally committed to bringing about justice because of His holy anger, yet He is also totally committed to His people. That is why He is slow to anger. He can both be good and angry.

In His total commitment to execute justice, there should be a recipient of such judgment. Someone has to pay the price. And unfortunately, we are all worthy candidates. But again in His total commitment to His people, He is the One who provided an offering to receive judgment. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, justice is served. Through Jesus Christ, we can be set free from God’s wrath, only if we believe and take for ourselves what He did on the cross for us.

When the good God gets angry, will you repent and take His offer? Or will be like Nineveh and ignore the warning?

Living Like Prostitute

Are we living like Gomer? Are we living like a prostitute?

Naranasan mo na ba ang magmahal? Siguro naman. E yung magmahal at pagtaksilan? Ang hardcore lang di ba. E yung alam mo naman na may history ng pagiging unfaithful pero mamahalin mo pa rin? Mas hardcore yan. At ang sarap batukan. Pero eto naman talaga ang true love – yung kaya mong tanggapin lahat ng kamalian ng tao dahil mahal mo siya.

Living Like a Prostitute.png

Nakapanood ako ng episode ng My Faithful Husband one time and from the title itself madali mong mahuhulaan ang istorya: may isang taong tapat na nagmamahal sa isang taong unfaithful na humahabol naman sa isa pang character, na temporary joy lang naman ang kayang ibigay. There is an element of discontent, unfaithfulness and pursuit of temporary happiness. Parang modern day portrayal ng buhay ni Hosea.

Hosea’s story
The Book of Hosea portrays an episode where the people practice religious ceremonies without being mindful of God himself. There was no genuine devotion and commitment to the Lord, leading to compromise, selfish ambition, and lack of integrity in one’s personal activities and dealings. Kung ganito ang buong bansa, dishonesty and corruption will become endemic; sooner or later that nation is in imminent danger of God’s judgment.

Imagine Hosea as a prophet of God sa panahong ang mga Israelites ay binabalaan ng nakaambang panganib kung sila ay hindi manunumbalik sa Panginoon at sa halip ay magpapatuloy sa kasalanan. And the way God delivered His message through Hosea is very dramatic, talbog ang aktingan nila Dennis at Jennylyn.

Ang God’s will for Hosea to marry is a prostitute. Of all the people, bakit sa ganun pang klaseng babae? But God has a message to say through their relationship. So Hosea took Gomer the harlot to be his wife and they had sons and daughters, all with interesting names.

Because of Gomer’s marital unfaithfulness, Hosea has all the reason in the world to leave her and let her continue living the life she wanted for herself. Yet his love can never be overcome by pressure and insult from other people. May forever kay Hosea.

Here’s the scenario in a nutshell: kahit gaano pa kamahal ni Hosea si Gomer, makailang ulit na bumabalik si Gomer sa dati niyang pamumuhay. Siya yung tipo ng tao na pinahiga mo na sa kama, bumabalik pa sa sahig. Pinaliguan mo na at binihisan para isama sa Star City or Enchanted Kingdom, mas gusto pa rin magtampisaw sa putikan. Mas nag-eenjoy siya dun.

Because of Gomer’s marital unfaithfulness, Hosea has all the reason in the world to leave her and let her continue living the life she wanted for herself. Yet his love can never be overcome by pressure and insult from other people. May forever kay Hosea. Kahit makailang ulit na magtaksil si Gomer, ganun ding ulit siyang tinatanggap ni Hosea.

Our story
Theirs is a story of how love covers a multitude of sin, kahit adultery pa. Pero spiritually speaking, their story is our story as well. A lot of us might say, “I will never have that kind of story, I will never be like Hosea”. However, this is a very presumptuous statement. Yes, most of us never want to be like Hosea, but we can be like Gomer in our relationship to God even without us realizing.

1. We become like Gomer when we choose to go our own way than God’s way.
“E kasi naman minsan parang ang tagal sumagot ni Lord sa prayers ko. Kailangan ko na ng trabaho, kaya eto na lang. Konting kompromiso lang naman e.” Minsan parang mas may sense pa na gawin natin on our own yung mga bagay bagay kaysa sumunod sa mga panuntunan ng Lord. Mukha kasing mas madali, mukhang mas mabilis, mukhang mas enjoy. Hosea wanted his wife to be under his protection but the latter wanted to go on her own. Parang tayo. Minsan we’re given instructions not to do this, not to do that pero sa katigasan ng ulo, ayun madalas napapahamak sa huli. Instead of trusting the Lord for His word and promises, mas naniniwala tayo sa mga fortune-tellers, mga horoscopes at feng shui; ang pag-asa naman natin ay ibinigay na natin sa 5-6 at mga networking scams.

2. We become like Gomer when we refuse to recognize the blessings God has given us.
Gomer was given the best his husband can afford to give. Dun pa lang malaking bagay na dapat sa kanya.

Our discontent makes us feel bad about ourselves and blinds us from what we already have in our lap.

Pero ewan ko ba, naghahanap pa rin siya ng iba. Binigyan ng rose, naghanap ng tulips. Binigyan ng coke, gusto pa diet coke! I believe Hosea is a good provider to his family, but Gomer’s discontent brings her to the lap of other lovers, who doesn’t really love her at all. Minsan ganito din tayo e. We tend to compare what we don’t have with what others have and end up feeling miserable. Pero di natin alam ganun din sila sa kung anong meron tayo. Our discontent makes us feel bad about ourselves and blinds us from what we already have in our lap. Think about it. The fact that you are reading this post means that you have an internet connection, no matter how slow it is, compared to people who doesn’t even know what internet is.

3. We become like Gomer when our source of satisfaction and joy is no longer God himself.
Gomer has a lot of things to be grateful for. In spite of her background and way of living, someone has redeemed her and gave her a new identity. She is no longer Gomer the Harlot, but Gomer the Beloved.

Is God, who has redeemed you and saved you and has given you a new identity in Christ still the source of your joy?

As a beloved wife and mother, her pleasure and source of joy should be her husband, but the reality proves the otherwise. Wala sa asawa niya ang kanyang kasiyahan. Wala sa pamilya niya ang kanyang kagalakan. Nasa kandungan pa rin ng iba. Maybe you are thinking, “she needs professional help badly”. But think about this: Is God, who has redeemed you and saved you and has given you a new identity in Christ still the source of your joy? Or we relegate our joy to the things we have: possessions, relationships, accomplishments and self-image? Mahirap sagutin, actually.

Are we living like Gomer? Are we living like a prostitute?