Summary: God has given us the ability to feel anger for good reasons. But these feelings of anger need to be controlled and channeled in the right direction.
A. One day a woman was telling her friend that she had called her husband at work to tell him she had been in a fender bender with their new car.
1. Her friend asked her if her husband got mad.
2. The wife said, “Well, he didn’t say much, but his boss later told me that the smoke alarm went off in his office.”
B. Speaking of a smoke alarm going off, I read a story about a man in California, back in 1995, who had a cockroach problem in his apartment.
1. He tried everything, but couldn’t seem to get rid of the nasty creatures.
2. He heard about a product known as the “bug bomb” it was an aerosol that you simply pressed a button on the container and left for a couple of hours, and then your home would be bug free.
3. Being desperate and frustrated with the problem and wanting to be sure he got rid of those roaches once and for all, he bought not 1 can, or 2 cans, or even 10 cans, rather he bought 25 cans and left them spraying in his apartment.
4. What he failed to take into account was how flammable the bug poison was and as the 25 cans released the spray in such concentration, the pilot light on his stove ignited the fumes.
5. The explosion that resulted blew the doors and windows out and set the apartment ablaze.
6. The blast caused over $10,000 damage to the apartment building, and what about the cockroaches? They were seen crawling through the rubble.
7. When asked why he used so many cans, he said, “I really wanted to kill them all, and I thought if I used a lot more, it would last a lot longer.”
8. The label said not to use more than 2 cans at a time.
C. You know, if we are not careful, our anger can lead to some very explosive situations.
1. And like the man in that story, many times we think that more will be better, the bigger our explosion the more strongly we will make our point.
2. Our angry outbursts can be what is called “over kill” – like using a bazooka as a flyswatter.
3. Confucius said, “Don't use a cannon to kill a mosquito.”
D. This reminds me of something that took place in the life of David, who was to be the 2nd king of Israel.
1. During the time that David and his troops were on the run from King Saul, they found themselves near a rich man named Nabal.
2. The Bible says that Nabal “was a very rich man with three thousand sheep and one thousand goats…and that he was a harsh man and evil in his dealings. (1 Samuel 25:2-3)
3. Nabal was married to Abigail who the Bible describes as intelligent and beautiful.
4. Being on the run, David and his men were short on supplies, and so they began to offer protection to Nabal’s shepherds out in the field, being a wall around them day and night, but they took nothing from the shepherds or the flock.
5. David sent some of his men to Nabal to tell him how they had been serving Nabal and to ask for some food as compensation for their work.
6. All Nabal sent back to David was insults, so David told his men to strap on their swords.
7. When one of Nabal’s servants told Abigail about the deadly situation that was brewing, she acted quickly and with humility she went to David carrying more than adequate compensation, and she also spoke with prophetic insight about David’s conscience and future.
8. So how did David respond? David praised God for using Abigail to keep him from an angry outburst that would have resulted in needless bloodshed.
9. And if you know the rest of the story you know that God dealt with Nabal and David ended up with Abigail as his wife.
E. As many others have observed over the years, anger is only one letter away from danger.
1. Anger is an emotion that can cause a lot of harm and get people into a lot of trouble, but anger in and of itself isn’t bad.
2. One of the ways we know that anger isn’t always bad or wrong is because the Bible tells us that God gets angry.
3. We may be very familiar with Numbers 14:18 which says: “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in faithful love, forgiving iniquity and rebellion.”
4. But we may not be as familiar with Psalm 7:11 which says: “God is a righteous judge and a God who shows his wrath every day.”
a. King James Version: “God is angry with the wicked every day.”