Bible Insights

God Is Slow to Anger and It Only Lasts for a Moment

God Loves Us and His Favor Lasts a Lifetime

The book of Psalms gives us glimpses into God’s character and his love for us. Though some people view God, as portrayed in the Old Testament, as angry and vengeful, a more careful read gives us a different perspective.

We see his love and his patience; he is slow to anger. We realize his desire to enjoy community with us.

One such example of God’s character comes through with poetic elegance in Psalm 30:5. Here we read that God’s “anger lasts only for a moment.” Even better is what comes next, that God’s “favor lasts a lifetime.”

And now for the poetry part: “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NIV).

Yes, we may suffer through some dark times (nighttime), but light will always follow (daytime), just as surely as morning follows evening. And though each day is made up of half night and half light, God’s anger is not in equal proportion to his favor.

Remember that we sleep through most of the darkness and therefore experience mostly light. In this way, nighttime seems brief—at least most of the time.

Just as we experience mostly the light of each day, we will also mostly bask in God’s favor.

Nine times the Old Testament reminds us that God is “slow to anger.” This occurs three times in Psalms and twice in the Law of Moses, along with Nehemiah, Joel, Jonah, and Nahum.

That’s a lot of people reminding us that God is slow to anger.

If we view God as a good parent (recall that God is our father, and we are his children), we realize that there will be times of needed correction. But if we respond appropriately, our time of discipline will be short.

Then we emerge from it and return to right relationship with God, experiencing his favor and his love, just as every good parent wants for their children. So, too, God wants this for us.

God is slow to anger, but his favor lasts a lifetime. Praise God!

[Read through the Bible this year. Today’s reading is Psalms 26-30, and today’s post is on Psalm 30:5.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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