“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” – Romans 5:9 (NASB)
In the fifth chapter of the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote to faith believers in the city of Rome, confirming promises we have:
- The promise of a relationship of peace with God.
- The promise of grace, providing standing before God.
- The promise of hope that will never cause us to be disappointed. What He has said He will indeed do.
- The promise of God’s perfect love as it is poured out and into our lives. God’s love for us is eternal and permanent.
Today in the ninth verse, a fifth promise. We are saved from the wrath of God as described for in Romans 1:18 is not an impulsive outburst of anger aimed capriciously at people whom God does not like. It is the settled, determined response of a righteous and just God against sin. Faith believers have been, are being, and will be saved from God’s wrath through Christ’s violent, substitutionary death. References to the blood of the Savior include the reality that He bled in His death. The term “blood” is used as a graphic way to describe violent death in our place.
“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” – Psalm 37:8-9 (ESV)
In this passage and in this whole Psalm 37 we’re instructed to not fret. ‘Fret’ is not a word with popular use but we understand what it means. ‘Fret’ is used for: eating or gnawing, causing emotional stress, even passing time uselessly is fretting, becoming vexed or worried, and there are others. Worried is the most familiar definition. Our instruction first of all to avoid fretful anger and wrath which leads us to do evil. Forget the evildoers who make us angry. Especially those who prosper at their evil doing. Politicians who abuse their power and amass wealth from their deals in office – don’t fret about them. A crooked business man who scoffs at the law, cuts corners, and gains power, fame, and fortune. A celebrity who scoffs God and those who believe in God while using their fame to capture an audience. Yet offended people continue to buy tickets, continue to add to their bank accounts. Endless examples exist. But God promises first the evildoers will have their day, they will be cut off AND we who don’t fret, but wait for the Lord will be rewarded with promised inheritance and eternal life.
“O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.” – Habakkuk 3:2 (ESV)
The book Habakkuk is one of the “Minor Prophets” in the Old Testament. Not minor is significance or message but in size. Some believe that Habakkuk wrote the book in two phases which he joined together. Chapters 1 & 2 record the prophet’s dialogue with God. Habakkuk questioned God regarding His method and purposes for Israel. The note at the end of chapter 3, identifies that it is written in the form of a psalm to be sung with stringed musical instruments. The prophet knew of God’s past dealings with Israel – by hearing and learning. He personally experiences an awe-filled respect at the power of God. He also uses this knowledge of God’s previous dealings to make a twofold petition. He calls on God to revive His way with Israel. He calls on God to make it known that even in His wrath, His mercy. He requests that God allow his mitigating mercy (cf. Ex. 34:6; Lk. 1:54). This is our promise: for both wrath and mercy are part of God’s nature. God loves us even when we have strayed from Him and turned our backs on His word. He will not turn His back on us.