Our Emotional God
God has feelings, He is an emotional God. We were made in His image (Genesis 1:26, 27)126 God said, “Let’s make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and
When God made the earth, the sun, moon and stars He spent an entire day enjoying the sense of satisfaction that every creative person can identify with when they have done a good job (Genesis 1:31, 2:1-3)231 God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. 1 The heavens, the earth, and all their vast array were finished. 2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work of creation which he had done.. God was grieved in
Again, and again in the Bible, we are told that God is merciful and gracious (Psalm 103:8)48 Yahweh is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness.. The word translated mercy in this Psalm means to be compassionate. The Lord empathises with His children and acts kindly towards them.
God also experiences strongly the emotion of anger. (Psalm 7:11)511 God is a righteous judge, yes, a God who has indignation every day. tells us that He is angry with the wicked every day. Now God is perfect and there is no sin or unrighteousness in Him and so from this, we learn that anger, in itself is not wrong. Emotions are morally neutral and in the life of someone who does right they will motivate to rightness and in the heart of someone who does wrong, they will lead to wrongdoing. It is not the emotion that is right or wrong but the person feeling the emotion who does right or wrong.
God also hates (Psalm 5:5)65 The arrogant will not stand in your sight. You hate all workers of iniquity.. We see Him being vengeful and repaying wrong done to Him (Romans 12:19)719 Don’t seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.”. We read the startling fact that the wicked will be tortured in the presence of God forever (Revelation 20:10)810 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.. We see God laughing in derision against His enemies (Psalm 2:4)94 He who sits in the heavens will laugh. The Lord will have them in derision..
God is also perfect love and incredibly caring for all. Indeed, He so loved the world that He gave His beloved only begotten Son Jesus to die for us (John 3:16)1016 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only born Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. . Amazingly we are told that it pleased Him to offer up His Son for us (Isaiah 53:10)1110 Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him.. God takes pleasure in the righteous acts of people. Most notably He is well pleased with Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:17, 12:18, 17:5)1217 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”. We are encouraged to please God (1 Thessalonians 4:1)131 Finally then, brothers, we beg and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, that you abound more and more..
We see the emotional heart of God perfectly expressed in His Son Jesus. We see Jesus weeping (John 11:35)1435 Jesus wept. at Lazarus’s tomb. Jesus has been described as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3)153 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering and acquainted with disease. He was despised as one from whom men hide their face; and we didn’t respect him.. Throughout His life on earth, we see His love for people expressed repeatedly. He touched the untouchable leper (Matthew 8:3)163 Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be made clean.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. willing to heal Him.
The burning fire of zeal motivated Him when the Temple chief priests turned the temple into a Bazaar that charged extortionate prices for gifts and sacrifices which worshippers could only purchase there to bring as offerings to God (John 2:17)1717 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”. Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers and drove out the animals sold for sacrifice. He looked around the synagogue with anger when the religious hypocrites condemned Him for healing on the Sabbath day (Mark 3:5)185 When he had looked around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their hearts, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored as healthy as the other.. A flood of emotion expressed His indignation when He pronounced woe after woe against the Pharisees and the Sadducees (Matthew 23:13-29)1913 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and as a pretense you make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.. Do not think that Jesus spoke these words in a cold, emotionless way. When He wept over Jerusalem we see the emotional heart of God who is not willing that any should perish (Luke 13:34, 35)2034 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, like a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you refused! 35 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”.
We know that it is with delight the Son does the will of the Father (John 4:34)2134 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.. It is for the joy set before Him that Jesus endured the pain and suffering of doing the Fathers will (Hebrews 12:2)222 looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.. Jesus more than any man knew sorrow (Lamentations 1:12)2312 “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look, and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me, with which Yahweh has afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger. but also knows the greatest joy since He has been anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows (Hebrews 1:9)249 You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.”.
The Holy Spirit also feels and has emotions. He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30)2530 Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.. We also see Him coming to a place of peace (Zechariah 6:8)268 Then he called to me, and spoke to me, saying, “Behold, those who go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.”. The Holy Spirit with the upmost purity experiences both lust and envy (James 4:5)275 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously”?. To lust means to yearn or intensely crave. It can be used
There are some emotions that God does not feel because these emotions only come to those who do not follow Him or experience His nature. God does not know anything of condemnation, despair, hopelessness, bitterness, self-pity or selfishness, pride and remorse.
If it is normal for God to feel and experience a whole range of emotions then it is normal for Christians to do so as well. To be unfeeling is not to be godly. It is those who are past feeling who give themselves over to evil (Ephesians 4:19)2819 They, having become callous, gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness. . One of the consequences of not following God is to become hard of heart (Romans 2:5)295 But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God,. To be unfeeling is not to follow God who experiences a full range of emotion.
Some people have created a hierarchy of peoples qualities and needs. Sometimes emotions are rated as less important than other traits. Often emotions are pitted against intellect and there is an expectation that intellect is always more important than emotion. This teaching has no Biblical basis. It is like comparing food and water and concluding that one is more important for life than the other. Since we have seen that God has an emotional life and our emotions are from the fact we have been made in the image of God we must conclude that emotions are of paramount importance as are our intellect and will. These essential traits are not to be ranked against each other.
1. Are you totally comfortable with some of the emotions and their intensity that God feels?
2. Is it possible for us to feel a similar range of intense emotions and do what is right as God does?
3. Which emotions trouble you most when you feel them?