God the Father: Quick to Anger or Slow to Anger?

Psalm 2:2, 10-12: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed … Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

Psalm 103:8, 13: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love … As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”

Like any loving father, God the Father is quick to anger toward those who would threaten his children, yet slow to anger toward his children.

When an intruder enters the house, God is the kind of father who jumps up to protect his family, setting himself against the intruder without hesitation. Yet when his child falls down in sin and despair again and again, God is the kind of father who is patient and gentle—even in his loving discipline.

As sinners and sufferers, this is exactly the kind of Father we need. We need one who, in respect to our sin, is merciful and slow to anger. Yet, we also need a God who, in respect to our suffering, is unceasingly angry about the evil which harms us (cf. Ps. 7:11).

So, rest, today—knowing that God is gentle and patient with you, even though you sin again and again. But also rejoice, today—knowing that God has never been more passionate in his hatred of the evil which harms you than he is right now.

God’s passion is our hope—for one day his passion will culminate in his ultimate deliverance, when he heals this earth and saves us from sin and suffering forever (cf. Rev. 22:3-5).


Blake Glosson is a student at Reformed Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as the director of young adults at New Covenant Bible Church in St. Charles, Illinois. You can find more of his work at The Gospel Coalition.