February 4, 2024


Isaiah talks of God’s wrath, but in the very same chapter, he speaks of God’s mercy: “But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (40:31). How is it possible that God embodies both wrath and mercy? One answer is to point out that we cannot understand mercy, in its deepest dimension, without first acknowledging wrath. Were there no such thing as wrath, the opposite of mercy would be indifference. Would we really want to live under a God who feels no anger, who can muster only indifference towards the bad things in this world? Would we want to worship a God who looks at an abused child or a power-mad dictator and responds with a shrug of the shoulders? Mercy would have precious little meaning were there not such a thing as wrath to act as a counterweight.

Bible References

  • Isaiah 40:21-31
  • Mark 4:35-41