Anger + Haste = Regret – Sunday Devotional

Exodus 32:15-19

And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.  And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a nose of war in the camp.

And he [Moses] said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount [mountain].

Moses had just led the people of Israel out of Egypt, where they had been held in slavery.  They had seen all the works God had performed to deliver them – the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and they saw the presence of God descend upon Mount Sinai.

And then, after seeing all of that, they turned around and made themselves a golden calf to worship while Moses communed with God on the mountain!

Moses wasn’t up there just having a party.  He was seeking God’s will for the people, and he was being given the Law.  Instead of waiting patiently and reverently, the people decided that Moses was taking too long, and so they needed a new god to worship, even though they could see the the cloud of the glory of God on the mountain!

Wouldn’t that make you angry?  It made Moses angry.  He threw those tablets and broke them!

How many times have you, in a fit of anger, damaged (sometimes irreparably) something that you owned?  I can’t tell you how many hairbrushes I have thrown across the room and broken because I was throwing a fit.  I’m blessed that it was only the hairbrush that broke!  I kicked a hole in the wall once when I was a child.  I was already in trouble, and I had turn around and tell my mother what had just happened.  That was humbling.

Writing is frustrating.  I want to warn you, though – do not EVER delete a story or manuscript in a fit of anger.

I promise that you will regret within minutes.

There are two types of anger – it can be ‘righteous’ anger, or just plain old anger.  Righteous anger is when an act of evil has been done – usually to someone else, but sometimes to you.  Stories of child abuse make me angry.  This kind of anger makes you want to change something – and you should try to change it.

Plain old anger just makes you want to hurt the other person the same way they hurt you, whether it’s by hurting them personally or hurting something that belongs to them.  It makes you irrational.  Like when I kicked the wall.

Moses’ anger with the children of Israel was completely justified.  God’s anger was worse, though, because it goes on to say that God wanted to completely destroy them and make Moses and his children into the nation that would inherit His covenant.

Moses’ plead with God, though.  Even though he was angry, he plead with God to spare the Israelites.  He asked God to blot out him and his family rather than to destroy all the others, because Moses believed that he had not led them out of slavery all for nothing, even though they caused him much grief.  God relented.  He didn’t annihilate them.

Anger should never be held onto.  This is where forgiveness comes into play.  Even if you simply have to forgive the computer for crashing, or forgive yourself for not hitting save, or forgive someone else for hurting you.

Instead of deleting that story when it doesn’t go the way you need it to, or when you somehow lose half of it even though you did hit save, just save it where it is, close it up, and don’t think about for a few days.  Or months.  Sometimes years.

Someday, you’ll regret if you get rid of it.  So don’t.  You never know how God might redeem it later, and it may turn out better than it was going to with your own plan.