Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Saturday, November 8

Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
—Amos 5:15

The question caught me by surprise.

" What makes God mad?" 

I realized that I had spent years wondering what God wanted, how we were to love, and what kind of a life we were to live. But I had never actually entertained the question, "What makes God mad?"”
A number of answers ran through my mind.

Surely God is angry when evil prevails. And what is evil? It is the
opposite of benevolence, and the absence of compassion. It leads us away from life in which we connect with each other, find meaning together, form a beloved community, bless each other and restore hope. Surely God does not lead us into despair, chaos and loneliness.

As the question lingered in my mind, another word came into view. That word was justice.  Over and over again scripture speaks of God's love of justice. And what is justice? It is a concern for the welfare of all creation, not just some of creation. It is the absence of exploitation, the presence of equality, the absence of selfish actions and the presence of compassion.

What makes God mad?

The absence of justice and the ruling presence of evil.

The question helped me center on God's highest hopes for the world, and what we can do to overcome evil with good, and to establish justice that blesses the beloved community wherever it may be. Sometimes paying attention to what God is against is as useful in our spiritual journey as reviewing what God is for.

Almighty God, we confess that we have sometimes thought of you as an angry God. Help us mend our troubled and torn world, in ways that reveal your love for us all. This we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.