How to Get Angry-Anguish

When God conveys anger, God doesn’t move directly from anger to action; acting out of rage.  God doesn’t lash out at the people to prove divine authority.  God inspires a prophet to feel the very heart of God and to speak the words of God from the heart.  It is hard to tell in the text who is speaking God or Jeremiah.  “My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent.”  (Jeremiah 4: 18)  I think God and Jeremiah or both speaking.  Jeremiah, “The Weeping Prophet,”heart was crushed; distressed by what’s happening to his people.  The weeping of Jeremiah over Judah’s evil puts him in their shoes; weeping with God over the evil within his own people.

The problem with those of us inside the church is we are not any better in expressing our anger than those outside the church.  We move from directly from anger to action; poorly reflecting the ways of God.  We must pass our anger through anguish before moving to action.  Anguish comes from the same root word as anger, either meaning grief or sorrow.  This allows the heart of God to respond to evil with judgment and still feel the pain of it all.  Jeremiah is God’s model how to do the same.  Jeremiah was filled with a blazing passion, and it was this emotional intensity, which drove him to discharge God’s woeful errands.

Yet, the purpose of a prophet is not to be inspired, but to inspire the people.  Prophets are not just to be filled with a passion, but to impassion the people with understanding for God.  Jeremiah’s suffered in sympathy with God whose heart was broken by his chosen but wayward people.  Jeremiah possessed a soul full of love, but his prophetic mission caused his heart to rend in wrath with the heart of God.  It must have been horrible to be a prophet of wrath.  Yet his anguish conveyed the heart of God for all the people of God.

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 8:16 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Russell,
    Thank you for sharing beforehand and after wards your sermons.
    I have always wanted to study the scriptures beforehand on Sundays
    so I would be prepared for worship. You are the first pastor to do so
    and I just want to thank you and tell you I appreciate it. After your first
    sermon on Jeremiah I went home and brushed up on the life of Jeremiah. Looking forward to Jeremiah 4 Sunday.
    Phyllis Street

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