Does God get angry?

The short answer is: yes, God gets angry. The Bible says this clearly: "God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psalm 7:11, NKJV). The anger God displays is not how we commonly perceive and experience anger, because God's anger is different than human anger: "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19–20). His anger is directed toward sin and its effects, because they are a violation of His character.

God does not sin in His anger, and He instructs us to do the same (Ephesians 4:26–27). God's anger is directed toward unrighteousness and He desires to see righteousness established in all people's lives: "… As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live …" (Ezekiel 33:11). The anger of God is motivated by a strong desire to see people overcome sin and walk in His ways.

God got angry with the kings of Israel when they disobeyed Him, thereby turning away from Him and His ways (1 Kings 11:9–10; 2 Kings 17:18). The wickedness of kings like Ahab (1 Kings 16:33) and Hoshea (2 Kings 17) caused God to become angry and ultimately led to war and the Israelites being taken captive, working as slaves for evil nations. As we see in the story of Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers in the temple, God also gets angry when people manipulate religion for their own gain (John 2:13–17), misleading others and keeping them in bondage. Just as sin led to the Israelites' captivity to an evil nation, our own sins, if left unchecked, lead to our own captivity to the power of sin.

Romans 1:18 says: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth." This reveals that the longer people live in sin, contrary to God's standard, the more the truth will be suppressed in their lives. We cannot live according to the Spirit if our minds and actions are focused on evil: "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot" (Romans 8:7). The potential of this quiet and progressive deceit should motivate all of us to seek God for help in righteous living. God knows how much more freedom and how much of a better quality of life we could experience if we followed the guidelines He has established. He has put them in place for our protection and wellbeing.

Sin destroys our relationship with God. God does not condemn us but wants to see us saved, living in obedience to Him. The good news is He has made a way for this to be possible through Jesus (John 3:17; Romans 8:1–4). God's anger has the ultimate goal of seeing our redemption from sin and the restoration of our relationship with Him.

Related Truth:

Does God have emotions?

How do I get the image of God as being angry out of my mind?

What does the Bible teach about anger?

What are some of the key things to know about the nature of God?

The attributes of God, what are they?

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