Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lessons in Anger - Part Two

Genesis 45:4-8: Joseph would have been justified if he had been angry with his brothers for the way they had treated him when they sold him into slavery all those years earlier. Instead he chose to see God's hand at work in the circumstances, accept the circumstances, and show mercy to his brothers. The result was that the family was reunited, rather than being further separated and wounded. Joseph also received a double portion of his father's blessing because Jacob blessed both of Joseph's sons as his own (Genesis 48).

Genesis 34, 49:5-7: Simeon's and Levi's anger about what was done to their sister, Dinah was initially justified. However they allowed themselves to be controlled by their anger and fed off of each other's anger to the point that they escalated and chose to express their anger through sin, deceit, and violence. The immediate result was the unjust destruction of many lives causing them to become enemies with their neighbors. They had to leave the area in which they had been living. Also, Dinah most likely became a scorned woman for life whereas she could have been married instead. They also influenced their brothers to act in sin as well. The longterm consequence was the devaluing of their own inheritance as well as the inheritance of the generations that followed.

Exodus 11: Moses was angry that Pharoah would be so stubborn that he would allow his pride to stand in the way of the safety of his people. Moses was also frustrated that he and Aaron had performed several miracles that proved that God is more powerful than the Egyptian gods, yet Pharoah was still too stubborn and prideful to let the Israelites leave. Moses' anger was not only justified in this case, but is also a good example of righteous anger. His anger came because of his concern for the wellbeing of the Israelites and the Egyptians.

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