Reading the Old Testament can be terrifying. God seems upset every other page.
One of the more startling examples is when the sons of Aaron are killed for offering strange fire. Almost immediately after their death, God is back giving new laws about completely unrelated stuff.
Not only does God get angry, He seems to callously move on after judgment (you can read it all here).
Is this callousness, or is this grace? I’m going to go with grace. Check out Psalm 30:5
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
God is not perpetually angry. Yes, He does have anger and He’s not afraid to act on it. But His mercy far overrides His anger. Today might be blown. Today might be time for judgment. But God, in His faithfulness, is merciful and this carries us through our tomorrows.
Too often Christianity wants to stay on one side or the other of God. Many Christians have too much glee talking about God’s wrath. Others can’t shut up about His favor and delight.
What we should be careful to do is keep each in their season, for everything is good in its season. God is good. He will use anger and favor at the perfect times.
Be glad His anger is short and His favor is long. At the same time, don’t underestimate His anger! Often His anger seems short because of the startling, sudden, magnitude of it.
David’s son died due to David’s sin. God’s anger was acted on, but His mercy carried David onward. God killed off thousands of Israelites because of David’s proud census taking. Yet God’s favor laid up eternal promises for David and Israel.
In no way should recognizing God’s favor eliminate His anger. Our God is a consuming fire who shows favor! But He’s still a consuming fire! It doesn’t take long to consume; but fully showing His favor takes a lifetime.