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Anger – A Biblical Perspective
What is anger? – A strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence a deep and strong feeling aroused by injury, injustice, or wrong, (real or imagined.)
Anger is a feeling, an emotion aroused by injury, injustice, or wrong against the ‘self’.
You may think as we go through this lesson that this study is directed towards someone in particular. You are correct it is directed to both you and me. Anger always involves ‘self’. We all have to deal with anger at some point and time in our lives. It is important that we learn not how to manage our anger, but we need to learn how to master it!
When God sends a word to establish His truth he often confirms it by two or three witnesses. You see this principle in Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15, and in again in Matthew 18:16, 18:20, 1 Corinthians 14:27-29, 2 Corinthians 13:1. Keeping with this, we will look at three examples of anger in the Bible. What picture does the Bible paint about anger and how does the Bible tell us to handle anger?
Cain and Abel Genesis 4:1 – 16
Vs. 3 – 5 – What was the source of Cain’s anger towards his brother?
God rejected Cain’s offering?
- Cain took God’s rejection of his offering as a rejection of him personally.
- Cain seems to see this rejection or slight is being against him because God somehow favors Abel over him.
- Did God favor Abel over Cain?
- Why did God reject Cain’s offering?
Vs6 – 7 – God told Cain if he did what was right he would be accepted
- God warned Cain that unless his heart and conduct changed sin was waiting like a predator for an opportunity to take him over.
- God further warned Cain that he must master sin (anger) and conquer it!
- Anger mastery not anger management!
Vs. 8 – 10 – Did Cain take to heart anything God said to him? (NO!)
What was the sad and tragic result of ignoring God’s direction and counsel? He talks to (argues?) with his brother and while they are out in the field Cain ambushes and kills Abel his brother!
The murder of Abel was the direct result of Cain’s selfishness, arrogance and disobedience. Jesus in Matthew 5:21-22 equates being angry (without cause) with being a murderer. Anger left to itself will always result in murder.
Anger is the fuel that lights the bonfire of destruction in the lives of all who indulge its murderous influence!
Vs. 10 – 16 – After killing Abel, did Cain have or show any sorrow or remorse?
- The only remorse you see from Cain for himself. He says that God’s judgment is too harsh. Notice that ‘self’ refuses to even answer to God for its wrong!
What was the end of Cain?
- Banishment from God’s presence
- A cursed ground
- A cursed life, lineage and family
One major cause of anger depicted by these verses is?
Rejection – real or imagined
Rejection by friends, or loved ones hurts
How we handle rejection is a measure of our Spiritual maturity before the Lord!
Saul and David – I Samuel 18:5- 14
Vs 5 – Saul the King gives David a commission in the Israelite army!
This act by the King elevated David’s status in the eyes of the people and in the eyes of Saul’s servants (ministers)
Vs6-7 – After a great victory over their enemy the grateful nation throws Saul and David a parade. They sang and danced in the streets giving praise to Saul and to David for the great victory they had won.
Vs8 – Upon hearing the women ascribe more of the victory to David than him, Saul became “displeased” and very angry!
Why was Saul “displeased”?
Why was Saul “wroth” (very angry)?
Saul felt slighted and humiliated in the eyes of the people!
Saul felt threatened by David’s fame and popularity with the people
Saul resented the respect and adoration that David received because he thought that it took away from him the honor and respect that was due him being the King.
Here you see another source of what causes anger.
Being slighted, humiliated, or threatened (real or imagined) can lead one into extreme anger.
What had David done at this point to deserve Saul’s feelings of slight (rejection), humiliation and fear?
Saul’s feelings towards David were rooted in his own insecurity.
Saul’s anger so consumed and infected him to such a degree that he was never able to see the truth about David (he was innocent of any offence against Saul).
To accept the truth about David would mean that Saul would have to admit the truth about himself. Pride will prevent you from seeing your faults and only focusing on the faults of others.
Vs9 – Saul’s attitude towards David changed forever from this point forward.
- His anger turned his heart against David
- His anger poisoned his mind about David
- His anger consumed him just like Cain’s anger consumed him!
Vs10 – As a result of God’s judgement, God removed His spirit from Saul. Since he was determined to ignore God’s will for His life.
An evil spirit from the Lord (I Sam16) returned to torment (chastise) Saul. This was done to try and get Saul’s attention and to turn him back from his sin!
Examples of this can be seen here:
- Ananias and Sapphire refused to turn and it cost them their lives (Acts 5:1-11
- Incest and adultery in the Church at Corinth (1 Cor 5:1-6)
- Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Cor 12:7)
Vs1 – 14 –
What was Saul’s attitude towards David from this point forward?
- He was afraid of David
- He felt that David had to die to appease his offended pride
- He plotted, planned and looked for ways to kill David
- Direct attempts by javelin
- Indirect attempts by subterfuge, and hidden agendas
- Broke his promise and denied marriage to Merab Saul’s daughter
- Put David in charge of the army so he could be killed in battle
- Saul gives Michal to wife who Saul hoped would be a snare and problem to David
Here we see again how direct the connection is between murder and anger.
How did David respond to Saul’s attitude and treatment of him?
- He behaved himself wisely!!!
- Read the rest of the chapter and you see this phrase repeated many times.
- This is the answer on how to respond and master anger
The Prodigal Son – Luke 15: 11 – 32
This story in the Bible is about a wayward son who leaves home as selfish, arrogant and foolish individual and returns as a humble, repentant and wiser son. It is story about mercy, forgiveness and redemption that is available by the grace of a loving father. Often missed in the story is another lesson about the other son. The other Prodigal son in the story is the one who never left home but the one who also was selfish, arrogant and foolish. His story is told starting at verse 25.
Vs25 – 30 – Why was the elder son angry?
He felt slighted, and wronged by his father. He said he served faithfully his father for many years, and never disobeyed anything his father told him to do.
He said he was ‘never’ given a fatted calf, or a party so he could celebrate with his friends.
He told his father that he was wrong for celebrating the return of the son who had wasted his life in riotous living.
Notice how ‘self’ is always at the source of anger? Notice how the offense seems to give almost a ‘righteous’ tone to the sons accusations.
The son said he never disobeyed anything his father told him? He is disobeying the father by refusing to come into the feast but that truth is lost on him because he thinks he is right even when he is actively engaged in doing wrong! Never disobeying and serving faithfully doesn’t look anything like he is behaving right now!
Anger has a way of not letting you see the truth even when it is staring you right in the face!
Vs. 30 – 32 – The father explains that he has not slighted the elder son. What is happening has nothing to do with the elder son.
The elder son has all of the privileges and honor that go with being the elder son. Whatever mercy, forgiveness and kindness the father shows to the younger son, is done because it is the right thing to do. (vs. 32)
This takes nothing away from the elder son, and in fact he should be rejoicing along with the father at the return and restoration of his brother.
See how relentless and unreasonable ‘self’ is once anger has taken hold of the emotions. It will cause you to do and say things that go directly against what we know to be right.
The elder son’s anger caused him to rebel against his father, and sin against him and against heaven just like his younger brother did.
How to respond to anger in the Bible
The key to responding and mastering anger is to learn how to behave yourself wisely. No matter how angry you are, you are still expected to handle yourself as it befits being a Christian. The following Scriptures are helpful in helping us to behave ourselves wisely. Read and mediate on them.
Eccl 7:9 – “Be not hasty in the spirit for anger rested in the bosom of fools”
Eccl 5:6 – “Suffer not thy mouth to cause they flesh to sin…”
Psalms 37:8 – “Cease from anger and forsake wrath”
Prove 14:7 – “He that is soon angry dealt foolishly…”
Prove 29:22 – “An angry man stirred up strife…”
Eph 4:26 – Be ye angry but sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath”
Open Letter to Congressman John Lewis (D-GA-5)
June 23, 2016
Representative John Lewis 343
Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3801
Fax: (202) 225-0351
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to you. Having grown up during the Civil Rights Era and seeing first hand and participating first hand in that epic struggle, I have a real clear sense of what we were fighting for. We were fighting for the right to be full participants in the American society. We were fighting to ensure that the rights that the Constitution enumerated would be enjoyed by all American regardless of their race. As you well know despite what the Constitution said there were many, many laws that had been passed by the legislature that for all practical purposes made null and void these Constitutionally protected rights. Representative Lewis, we fought and marched so that any and all laws that infringed upon these rights would be changed and or abolished. I admired greatly your principled stand back in those days and took great note of the courage and passion you showed in the actions you took to address the inequality you saw in our Country. That is why it bothered me greatly to see you on the floor of the Congress the other day using the ‘Civil Rights card’ as a justification for what can only be called shameful and irresponsible behavior. What ‘injustice’ are you protesting? Is it ‘unjust’ for the Congress to refuse to take up a vote on a law that had already been defeated because they ‘believed’ it violates or ignores the Constitutional right of ‘due process’? Isn’t that your job as a lawmaker? Isn’t it job one to make sure that whatever laws are made, that they are in agreement with the Constitution of the United States of America?
From the rhetoric I hear coming from those who are pushing for ‘more gun control’ you would think that the problem is ‘guns’ and that we need ‘more laws to control access to guns’. On June 22, 2016 Congresswoman Pingree (D-ME) laid out the case (that I believe you subscribe to) that we need more laws to ‘keep guns out of the hands of terrorists’. (Congressional Record article 8) She said, “…the NRA has taken control over the debate on guns to such an extent that we cannot even vote in this Chamber on whether we should keep guns out of the hands of terrorists.” (emphasis added) Mr. Lewis, you and I both know that the issue is not whether or not we should keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, but more importantly what is the best lawful way to do that! Furthermore, Ms. Pingree goes on to say, “Over the last 10 years, people on the terrorist watch list tried to buy explosives or firearms 2,233 times. Over 90 percent of the time, they were successful. This is wrong. The American people know it is wrong, public health officials know it is wrong, and nearly every single law enforcement association in America knows it is wrong, which is why they are all in favor of closing the terrorist gun loophole.” (emphasis added)
“Terrorists gun loophole”? Am I the only one who finds it unacceptable that our government knows people who are on ‘terrorist watch list’ that were successful 90% of the time in their attempts to purchase firearms/explosives yet to my knowledge we have no record of them being arrested, jailed or deported? What kind of watch list is this? Are they just on the list so we can WATCH them buy firearms/explosives? What is this loophole she is speaking of? Why aren’t these suspected terrorists dealt with by the laws we currently have on the books? Why aren’t they prosecuted to the full extent of the current laws? Why after 2,233 times is there still NO remedial ACTION by our government officials? Why do we have so many people on the Terrorist watch list? Who are these people? What is being done about them? Are there that many terrorists lurking about in this country that we have to resort to keeping multiple lists? What are we doing about that? How does a person get on such a list? How do they get off such a list?
These are the questions that we the American people need to get answered and fixed! Before we debate whether or not we need more/better gun control laws, we need to debate, and resolve the issues on why our current laws (guns, immigration, etc.) are not be enforced. If we are not willing or able to enforce our current laws how does creating more laws fix anything?
Speaking of lists, why are there so many people on the ‘No-Fly’ list? I believe you have personal experience about how arbitrary, ineffective and borderline Constitutional this list is in a free society. What is Congress doing to address this very serious encroachment upon our free access to ‘public accommodations’? How is it lawful, to block someone’s access to a public accommodation (flying), without due process?
Lastly, I find it sad and troubling that you Mr. Lewis who ‘used to be’ a noted fighter for ‘Civil Rights’, by your actions appear to be completely co-opted and compromised by your allegiance to the Democrat party and its ideology. I hope that I am wrong about this. Need I remind you that the very ‘freedoms’ you marched in Selma for are the ones you are now seeking to ‘legislate away’ for the supposed purpose of keeping ‘us’ safe.?? A wise man once said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I realize that there are those who debate the meaning of this statement, but for me the meaning is clear. When presented with the option of giving up our Constitutional freedoms for the purpose safety/security, we should say no, never EVER! History has shown that if we fail to hold the line that freedom must be first, over safety/security, the end result is we end up having neither safety or liberty. I know that you understand this, hence my consternation with your position and actions in these matters.
Mr. Lewis, you more than anyone there in Congress should know that to allow the Government to make laws that are in direct violation or in open disregard of our Constitutional freedoms is to pave the road for oppression and slavery. What has happened to you? How can you so blindly go along with this attempt to subvert the Constitutional freedoms that you once Championed? How can you betray the very principles that you once fought and risked your life for? I don’t get it? Don’t you realize that you are paving the way for the day we all will be returned to the government plantation? Why are you helping to enslave us again by a system that promises freedom but never actually delivers on that promise? Why are you and your fellow lawmakers working so hard to undermine our fundamental freedoms? Didn’t we already have a time in this country when that was done? I don’t know about, you but I never want to see those days again! Congressman Lewis, you should know better. I believe you are better than this! It is time to do better than this! Now is not the time to ‘sit-in’, it is time to ‘STAND-UP!’
Bishop George W. Manigault, II
Judah Ministries, International
Ye did run well?
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church at Galatia, asks a question about having been set free from the strangle hold of sin, and having begun the race of Christian service what now hinders them from obeying the truth?
I would also ask that of Black people today. Having been set free by the power of God despite barriers of racism and having begun this race for freedom, what now hinders us from obeying the truth that once made us free?
Speaking of truth, I read an article recently that a Presidential candidate told African Americans at a Baptist church in North Charleston to be afraid because they face barriers in economics, health and education. This candidate said also, “we have to be honest about systemic racism which is still a problem in America.” The audience roared with applause! This statement indicates that the responsibility for the problems that plague our community ( high level of crime, high level of poverty, high level of drug abuse, high level of fatherless/broken homes, high level of incarceration, high level of illiteracy, etc.) are all due to ‘barriers’ that have been placed in our way by ‘others’. Or in other words we are not succeeding because ‘others’ are keeping us from achieving the same rights and privileges that they are enjoying. Of course this Presidential candidate promises to bring down these barriers if they are elected.
Is this assertion true? Is what the candidate said ‘honest’ about what the problems really are in the African American (Black) community?
Are we in the condition that we are in due to ‘barriers’, and systemic racism? While it is true that racism and barriers still exist, are they the reasons that many African Americans (Black) families are failing to achieve success in America? I say NO.
Dr. Thomas Sowell notes the following:
- If poverty among blacks is because of whites (racism, barriers, etc.), why has the poverty rate among black married couples been in single digits every year since 1994, despite far higher poverty rates among other blacks?
- When the imprisonment rate of blacks with a college education is a fraction of the imprisonment rate of other blacks, does that mean that white cops check out the education of blacks before they decide to arrest them?
Dr. Sowell goes on to cite other examples that contradict the narrative that the failure we see in Africian Americans to succeed in this country is due to ‘barriers’. Just looking at the example given above, I ask how it is that black married couples, and blacks with a college education are able to avoid/overcome the barriers, and systemic racism that we are constantly told is the reason Black people cannot make it in America?
The truth is that the barriers that do exist today are nothing like the barriers that existed in this country fifty years ago when systemic racism was much more ingrained in public accommodations, public education, social, and corporate institutions. No one who lived during those terrible times could ‘honestly’ argue that the ‘barriers’ and ‘systemic racism’ are worse today that they were then. If the barriers are not worse, then what is the reason for the present predicament?
How did those that came before us manage to feed their families, clothe and educate their children, in the face of such heinous systemic racism, but we today are unable to do the same?
Back then ‘when ‘we were Black’ we took responsibility for the problems that plagued our communities no matter what the cause was? We did not believe that we could not achieve success in America unless someone else helped us. We believed that God would help us no matter what obstacle or barrier was in our way. (“We shall overcome some day…”) Because back in those days we did not rely (could not rely) upon the government, to take care of us, (free healthcare?) to clothe us, to feed us, or to educate us and our families.
Today that has changed dramatically. Now a very high number of Black people depend upon the help of the government for the basics of living and have come to believe that they are ‘entitled’ to this help due to the terrible legacy of racism and discrimination that still plagues our society today.
How did this happen? We did run well, (made a good start) but what now hinders us?
The lack of knowledge of the truth is what hinders us. It is time to tell the truth the whole truth, nothing but the truth? The truth is, we have left and lost our faith in God and placed it mistakenly in man (government) and political systems. This change in mentality now is what hinders us in our pursuit of the freedom we fought so hard to achieve.
But can we handle the truth? I pray that we learn to embrace the truth if there is ever a time we need to do so, it is now. We find ourselves back in bondage, not because of systemic racism, or barriers but because we have not been walking in the truth that has been revealed to us by God! “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
We have been disobedient to the Lord who brought us out of bondage. We did not abide in His word. We sought our abode in words of men. We need to remember why we started. This struggle was not for us be treated ‘differently‘ or ‘special‘ by society, but it was a struggle to be treated ‘equally‘ ‘the same’ as others. This is consistent with the Biblical truth that we should love God and love our fellow man.
The struggle was to be no longer judged by the ‘color of our skin’ but by the ‘content of our character’. Unfortunately for many of us, the ‘content of our character‘ as a people is very much in question, and the judgement is harsh. Our character has been ” weighed in the balance and found wanting….” Our forefathers would be ‘ashamed‘ of how we have strayed so far from the truth, squandered the opportunities they gave us and destroyed the legacy that they left us.
Isaiah 55:7King James Version (KJV)
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
It is time to repent people! Let us return to our God and He will have mercy upon us.
Bishop G. W. Manigault, II
Judah Ministries, International
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Hey all! Due to the snow, there will be NO Bible Study on tonight (Tues. 1/21). Spread the word!
We will resume next week and deal with some of Jesus’ Kingdom parables.