Devotionals by Alistair Begg

February 22

Slow to Anger

The Lord is slow to anger and great in power. - Nahum 1:3

Jehovah "is slow to anger." When mercy comes into the world, she drives winged horses; the axles of her chariot-wheels are red-hot with speed. But when wrath goes forth, it toils on with tardy footsteps, for God takes no pleasure in the sinner's death. God's rod of mercy is always in His hands outstretched; His sword of justice is in its scabbard, held down by that pierced hand of love that bled for the sins of men.

"The LORD is slow to anger" because He is "great in power." He is truly great in power who has power over himself. When God's power restrains Himself, then it is power indeed: The power that binds omnipotence is omnipotence surpassed. A man who has a strong mind can bear to be insulted and only resents the wrong when a sense of right demands his action. The weak mind is irritated at a little; the strong mind bears it like a rock that doesn't move though a thousand breakers dash upon it and cast their pitiful malice in spray upon its summit.

God marks His enemies, and yet He bestirs not Himself but holds in His anger. If He were less divine than He is, He would long have since sent forth the whole of His thunders and emptied the cannons of heaven; He would have long ago blasted the earth with the wondrous fires of its lower regions, and man would have been utterly destroyed.

But the greatness of His power brings us mercy. Dear reader, what is your condition this evening? Can you by humble faith look to Jesus and say, "My substitute, You are my rock, my trust"? Then, beloved, do not be afraid of God's power; for if by faith you have fled to Christ for refuge, the power of God need no more terrify you than the shield and sword of the warrior need terrify those whom he loves. Rather rejoice that He who is "great in power" is your Father and Friend.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Exodus 5

verse 2 Luke 8

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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

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