Little Wrath And Great Wrath      

Isaiah 54:7-10


     God's saints in this world are often greatly tried and afflicted (II Cor. 4:17; James 1:2,3,12; I Pet.1:67). It is not uncommon for believers to have in this life a far greater amount of sorrow, adversity, and inward as well as outward turmoil than the unbeliever. Job's accusers never knew the woes he endured (Job 1 and 2). David's heart was almost overwhelmed when he thought of the temporal prosperity of the wicked and sorrow of the righteous (Psa.73).In this world, Lazarus had nothing but poverty,sickness, and sorrow, while the rich man knew nothing of those things (Luke 16:19-31).

     Our comfort in our trials is twofold: (1) We are assured that that which we suffer is by the hand of our God and heavenly Father, and that it is as much a part of our heritage of grace and as much a proof of our adoption as faith in Christ (Phil. 1:29). (2) We are also assured that our trials in this world do not arise from the penal wrath of God's anger and justice, but from the loving kindness of his heart (Heb. 12:5-12). There is no punishment involved in chastisement. The Lord Jesus Christ, our penal Substitute, has borne and satisfied all the fury of God's wrath and justice for us. There is no wrath left in God against his people!

     In Isaiah 54:7-10, the Lord God affirms his grace and mercy to his people, even when our experience indicates his wrath and displeasure. First, HE SPEAKS OF THE LITTLE WRATH OF DIVINE CHASTISEMENT WHICH EVERY BELIEVER EXPERIENCES IN THIS WORLD (vv. 7-8). God will never forsake his own, but he often appears to do so to teach us our need of him, to teach us to trust him and not our feelings or experiences, and to draw out our hearts to him in love (Song of Sol. 5:1-16; Lam. 3:1-24). Whenever we imagine that we have been forsaken by our God, in reality the forsaking has been done by us! But be assured, the trial will not last long, only a moment. The wrath endured is only the little wrath of a father's love. The recompense of the trial will be "great mercies". And the chastisement does not change, but only proves our relationship with our God. Second, THE LORD DECLARES THAT THE GREAT WRATH OF DIVINE PUNISHMENT, NO BELIEVER SHALL EVER EXPERIENCE, NEITHER IN THIS WORLD NOR IN THE WORLD TO COME (vv. 9-10).


Don Fortner