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Coptic Orthodox Church
Wrath of God
How do Copts understand this passage said in the coptic rite?
"Take away Your anger from us, visit us with Your salvation, and forgive us our sins."
Like we pray in the prayer after communion. “Make my will one with Your will” We are not asking that God stop having an emotional anger tantrum towards us and calm down. We are asking that, instead of being against His will, we turn to Him and Him to us. As James 4:8 says: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Bola, why are you asking this question? You are a scholar! You could answer such a question 10, 000 times better than me!
Pray for me!
haha thanks for the answer Stephen. I was wondering how other lay people understood this to see if it is similar to my understanding.
It's acceptable to recognize that God has wrath and anger... as long as that doesn't bring the person to the extreme of thinking that we worship a god of fear, rather than of love.
There are many biblical verses that do say that God has wrath and anger. God's displeasure is considered anger.
edited February 2021
Very passionate about this topic so could not keep myself from replying ...
I think the phrase means exactly what it says (as with most phrases in general) ... we are imploring God not to be angry with us and not to punish us for our sins. God will punish sinners for eternity and the only way to avoid this horrible fate is repentance and returning to God, and this prayer is a part of that.
God's wrath is usually not an issue of debate, it is easily founds in many parts of the old and new testaments. I think it is perfectly fine to worship God because of that fear, at least at the beginning. Pope Shenouda talks about this at length in his book
The Fear of God
“They [Israel] have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved me to anger by their foolish idols…for a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell.” (Deut. 32:21-22)
“For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5-6)
Sorry for the late reply, but we read the verse from Deuteronomy in the Vigil of the Apocalypse and I felt it was relevant to share.
As mina said, God has anger and wrath, and we know this because we are in His image and we have anger and wrath. God wants us to worship Him and return to Him, and to keep His commandments- He said Himself that He is a jealous God. He is the Almighty and is worthy of worship and praise (as we say in the Pascha, “Yours is the power, the glory, the blessing, and the majesty”), and we weak and sinful humans turn away from Him and His glory often- from the disobedience of Adam to the golden calf of the Israelites, and from the errors of Balaam to the deception of Jezebel. As such, God will take drastic measures to bring us back to Him: He sent Adam out of the Paradise; He commanded the Levites to slay 3000 men for the worship of the calf; He sent a plague to the Israelites for Balaam’s transgression; He said that Jezebel would be bedridden with sickness and her children killed, and those who slept with her saw tribulations.
Every day, we sin against Him knowingly and unknowingly, since we are just as sinful as the Thyatyrians and we know that God’s wrath is fierce; so we ask Him to have mercy upon us as He had compassion on the Ninevites and the thief on the right. I hope this helps
Pray for me, and Khristos Anesti!
Ⲁⲗⲏⲑⲱⲥ ⲁⲛⲉⲥⲧⲏ dear
.. Thanks for this marvellous post.. Despite all you said, yet we hear some empty teachings (luckily enough not Coptic Orthodox) that God is so placid, peaceful, kind-hearted and would not do this to anyone, as if both cannot be true. Yes He is all peace, all love, all kind-heartedness, and He is also fierce, jealous, and absolute justice..
Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ