Slow to Anger
For many years now I’ve been interested in an oft repeated verse in scripture. These verses, as you can see, have a fairly common theme. Slow to anger, compassionate, forgiving, abounding in love, forgiving, rich in love, relents from sending calamity. There’s even a part of his wrath in there in the phrase will not leave the guilty unpunished.
You also need to remember that we are made in God’s image. Since these are attributes of God that can be also human characteristics, I’ll say these verses are a way of life for us as Christians.
Here’s the verses with the context. You’ll notice they were written out of similar circumstances for the most part.
Upon giving Moses the law the 2nd time:
Exodus 34:6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
Upon Israel rebelling in the wilderness
Numbers 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’
Upon a reminder of Israel’s history.
Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them,
Upon David’s being in affliction
Psalm 86:15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Upon David’s old age
Psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Upon observing the generations and created world
Psalm 145:8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
Upon a call to repentance and warning of judgment
Joel 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Upon waiting for the destruction of Ninevah
Jonah 4:2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.
Upon the anticipated destruction of Ninevah
Nahum 1:3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
Upon Hezekiah’s call to Israel to gather to celebrate passover
2 Chronicles 30:9 For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”