Throughout the Psalms, we have read of Godís anger. Only yesterday we read a plea from the writer of Psalm 85 that God would turn away his anger. Many today would like to characterise God as angry, vengeful and even cruel, but this could not be further from the truth.
Verse 15 of Psalm 86 tells us the truth about Godís anger: ďBut you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.Ē
God is capable of anger and sometimes we see him acting in righteous anger in the scriptures. Yet God is slow to anger. If we read carefully and pay attention to Godís actions towards his people throughout history, we will see time and time again that what comes before anger are patient explanations, reminders, and demonstrations about what God wants. He gives them written laws, he sends them prophets, he shows them signs, he rescues them again and again. When God does move in anger, it is for a good reason, it is proportionate, and it is only after months, years, and sometimes centuries of patience.
In verse 11, David asks the Lord to teach him Godís ways, and to give him ďan undivided heartĒ so that he might fear Godís name and praise him with all of his heart. We, too, need an undivided heart Ė a heart that is fully focused on God as revealed in Scripture, and not an image or an idea of God that is not a true reflection of his character. Our God is not an angry vengeful God. He is slow to anger, full of compassion, love, graciousness and faithfulness. He is the kind of God who is worth the total devotion of our hearts.
Meditation verse: Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.