When God Gets Angry
I. It’s the END of ISRAEL. (v. 1-6)
A. The STRUGGLE for POWER. (v.1-4)
B. A HARSH and PAINFUL end. (v.5-6)
C. It TOOK place BECAUSE…(v.7)
We’ve been working our way through this period of the Monarchy for the last 3 months and today it comes to an end…at least in the northern kingdom of Israel. Judah in the south is not far behind. While it’s been three months for us it was over 300 years for the people of Israel and Judah.
1. Kid’s question: When has something that you hoped would happen turned out a way that wasn’t what you wanted?
2. Why is it that we always want to know “why” bad things happen? Does that help us to deal with them?
II. “SINNING against the LORD.” (v.7-23)
A. VISIBLE issues: WORSHIP and PRACTICE. (v.7-13, 16-17)
B. ROOT issues: SURRENDER and TRUST. (v.14-15)
C. This RESULTS in the ANGER of God. (v.11,18)
The fall ultimately came because the people continued to sin against the Lord. When we hear that phrase we often assume we know exactly what it means. We think we understand sin, but sometimes the assumptions we make about these things can lead us down a dangerous path.
3. Before the sermon today how would you have defined “sin”? Has that changed? Why or why not?
4. How do you reconcile the “anger” of God with what you see in Jesus? Is that a difficult balance to maintain?
III. UNDERSTANDING God’s ANGER. (Bible Project Video)
A. Related to His JUSTICE and LOVE. (Ex. 34:6-7)
B. ALLOWING the CONSEQUENCES of DECISIONS. (v.20; Rom 1:24)
C. Yet God is SLOW to ANGER. (2 Kings 17; 2 Peter 3:9)
If you take a poll, especially in regards to the books of the Old Testament, many people would say that the God described there is an angry God. He always seems to be bringing judgment on someone or some group of people. But upon closer examination we might see that our understanding of God’s anger is a bit shallow and one sided.
5. What was you reaction to the Bible Project Video? What stood out to you from it? (https://youtu.be/TeQ1nq_YJD0)
6. How would you answer someone who tells you that they can’t love the God of the Bible because He is too angry?
IV. LEARNING from a fallen NATION. (v.23)
A. RETHINK our ASSUMPTIONS about God. (v. 14; Jn 17:3)
B. Sin is IDOLATRY more than specific ACTION. (v.15-17; Gen 3:4-5)
C. God’s WARNINGS are not CONTROL but PROTECTION. (v.15; Rom. 6:20-23)
D. We GROW into what we WORSHIP. (v.15; Ps 115:3-8)
So what can we take away from these weeks spent looking at “The problem with Kings”? What can we learn from what is fallen Israel and soon to be fallen Judah? There are several take-aways that merit reflection.
7. What assumptions have you made about the nature of God that might need some rethinking?
8. If we grow into what we worship, how can we make sure that we are worshipping God? Try to think of specifics and ways to be aware of our own idolatries.
“The problem is not just that humans have misbehaved and need punishing. The problem is that their idolatry, coming to expression in sin, has resulted in slavery for themselves and for the whole creation.”
N.T. Wright – The Day the Revolution Began