I hear preachers and teachers often speaking of the wrath of God against our nation. I do not doubt that we deserve His wrath. Our sins are great, piled as high as the Tower of Babel. But I cannot speak for the emotions of God. I simply don’t know.
The Bible is not silent on the subject, God was grieved several times and we should learn from each account starting with Noah. God’s heart filled with pain over the wickedness of mankind with every inclination of the their hearts and minds evil all the time. He had to destroy all people. He chose one righteous man to save the remnant. Every other living human died in the deluge. (Genesis 6)
In Exodus 32 God is once again grieved. He wanted to destroy the nation for their worship of the golden calf. The chosen intercessor, Moses prayed for God to relent His fierce anger. Moses shared the emotion with God and understood the cost of sin. We can see this clearly in Moses’ prayer, “Blot me out of atonement, but forgive these people.”
An intercessor once again intervenes; God is grieved He made Saul king and planned to destroy the king. Samuel was troubled and cried all night. He mourned for Saul as God mourns our sin. (I Samuel 15)
Finally, we see God’s anger when David trusted his own pride and took a census. David’s chosen punishment was three days in the clutches of the death angel. God grieved the calamity but continued with his plan to destroy the sin of one man. David understood God’s grief, the cost of his sin as he cried out, “I am the one who sinned…Let your hand fall upon me and my family.” David paid the price and sacrificed a huge sum to absolve God’s wrath. (2 Samuel 24)
Here’s what I learned:
- God’s grief is real. Sin causes great pain to His heart.
- God reacts to His grief by destroying those who sinned.
- Prayer is powerful when the intercessor shares God’s grief over sin.
- True intercession is costly.
If God is grieved over the sins of America, do we share in that grief? God’s pattern is that He will relent the destruction when an intercessor will share His grief, offer his life, plead for mercy, and pray it through no matter the cost.
But I think with 3 out of 4 examples, God heard the prayers of a passionate intercessor. This challenges me. Instead of just pounding the nails of my daily grind in an attempt to save myself, I should…
- seek to better understand the grief of God over sin
- see my own sin as grieving the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30)
- pray as if I am the sole cause of the judgment of God against the nation.
Only God knows what would happen if a nation of believers would become intercessors like Moses, Samuel, and David.