Have you noticed how fights break out near the end of football games? There’s a powerful connection between blocked goals and outbursts of anger.
Even in conversations when someone disagrees with me, I immediately feel tension start to rise inside. If they beat me in the argument, the anger can get worse. The craziest part of this anger is that I can store it, go home, and then Mary can say something totally innocent and I retaliate with strong words. God hates this anger that flows from wounded pride when we feel blocked, especially when we pour it out against innocent victims.
In 168 BC Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian leader, got seriously blocked during his second campaign against Egypt, and check out who got the brunt of his fury.
“At the appointed time the king of the North will return and come into the Negev and attack Egypt. But this time it will not be the same result as his first campaign. Roman ships will come against him and he will withdraw in fear. He will return from Egypt and will vent his fury, hurling curses against the Holy Covenant, and he will show favor to those Jews who abandon the Holy Covenant.” Daniel 11:29-30
As Antiochus moved to besiege Alexandria, Gaius Popilius Laenas, the Roman commander, met him four miles outside the city in the delta of Egypt. The Roman presented an ultimatum from his Senate, “Leave Egypt now or face the wrath of Rome.” Laenas drew a circle around Antiochus, and told him to decide before he stepped out of the circle.
Now Antiochus had spent his childhood as a hostage in Rome. He knew Roman might and his father had been defeated by the legions. He left for home but as he retreated through Israel, he sent Apollonius, one of his commanders, to Jerusalem. The Syrians pretended to come in peace, but then turned, plundered the city, and massacred many. (You can read about this in 1 Maccabees 1:30-32.) Antiochus was blocked in Egypt and poured out his rage on innocent Jerusalem.
LORD, when anger rises inside, help me to honestly face it. Use the example of Antiochus and how his anger caused him to fight against your sacred promises to move me to confess my anger and allow your Spirit to give me peace.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!