Monday, August 13, 2018

The Smoke of Anger

​Smoke went up from His nostrils,
​​And devouring fire from His mouth;
​​Coals were kindled by it.  Psalm 18:8

Smoke is on my mind for some reason this morning; it might have something to do with the haze and odor of smoke over the area from the wildfires in the west. Then again it might be the sinus pain through the night and odd sleepiness yesterday.

Smoke, we have a rather comical vision of smoke coming from ears or nostrils because of its use in comic strips or cartoons. However, that vision did not start out in humor but in all angry seriousness in a couple of places - our verse for today, and in the psalm recorded in 2 Samuel 22 (which are remarkably similar). David showed us a picture of an angry God, complete with the smoke coming from the Holy nostrils. Directed at you or me this would be a cause for great concern, but David shows the Lord our God angry on his behalf. There is a similar vision of an angry God near the end when He comes to do battle on behalf of those remaining saints in Jerusalem and Israel. Notice that in both cases we don't fear an angry God so much as we fear God angry at us!

Good, keep it for a time. Fearing God's anger is a good start to avoiding sin. Just remember that Israel could not save itself that way. We live in grace, and grace came to us through our Lord Jesus taking God's anger at all sin upon Himself. The Judgment fell on Christ alone, and now we live in His righteousness!

Alive in Christ Jesus!

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