That God is angry when we break one of His command-ments we understand. That He is angry with our prayers is another matter. Yes, if we pray for sinful things it is under-standable that God is angry; but if we pray for salvation, will God be angry?
Yes, even that can make God angry. For not only are our best works—and that includes our prayers—polluted with sin, but so often in our prayers our method and motive is wrong. We can pray to be healed from our sicknesses, not so that we can serve God more fully, but to seek the things here below.
No wonder then that Asaph in Psalm 80:4 writes, “O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayers of thy people?” Consider that Asaph writes about God’s people in the ten tribes who no longer went to God’s temple in Jerusalem to pray there, but went to the two places where Jeroboam set up golden calves. Therefore our versification reads:
How long, 0 Lord, wilt Thou disdain our prayer?
For Thou hast fed us with the bread of tears,
And bitter sorrow Thou hast made us share;
The nations round us mock with scornful jeers.
Remember that God is holy and cannot be happy with any sin, no matter in what form it comes. Adam only ate a forbidden piece of fruit; but God sent death! But under¬stand that God does not hate His people whom He gave to Christ, and for whose sins His Son died. But He is angry with our sins and often keeps us in difficult situations in order to turn us away from these sins, and to bring us where His face shines and we enjoy His smile. The ten tribes had to be captured and mocked with scornful jeers so that God’s people in those tribes might be turned again to Him Who dwells between the cherubim on the ark in the temple in Jerusalem.
And we too so often need afflictions to bring us back to the Lord of Hosts, so that we may be where His face shines upon us. We need chastisement and as our Great Shepherd He supplies it. He does this because He loves us and intends to turn us and save us.
Read: Psalm 119:65-80
Psalter versification: 218:2
This devotional was written by Rev. Heys and published by the Reformed Book Outlet.