Then you will say on that day, "I will give thanks to You, Oh Lord;
For although you were angry with me, your anger is turned away,
And you comfort me.
Behold God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song, and he has become my salvation."
Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.
Memories of my mother being angry with me and a short time later explaining what I could do better, as well as being as sweet as she always was, came to mind as I read this passage. I was so fortunate that as a young boy she gave me a picture of God as merciful and loving, forgiving, and encouraging as opposed to the Angry God many were exposed to from their homes and in church.
Of course reading most of the Old Testament can also cause us to get a picture of God as often being angry because we humans behave so badly even when we have been extended a multitude of grace and forgiveness. In that time there was no Messiah to "turn away" that anger, no Messiah to provide "salvation", and nothing to "draw water from the spring of salvation". Only a knowledge of God passed from generation to generation with very little written word to go back and refer to.
Imagine waking up tomorrow without a Bible to read, no devotional to direct our thoughts, only the last conversation we had with one of our elders that spoke of who God was and how he interacted with the human race. What a bummer and how easily misled our idea of God could be.
And without the knowledge that the prophecy of Isaiah 11 would be fulfilled (the coming of a Messiah), we may not see where we could draw that water of salvation from.
Fortunately, the idea of an Angry God can be easily dispelled by what is written and what the Holy Spirit plants in our hearts when we receive salvation. Addicts who used to bury their feelings of unworthiness, can now be thankful that God's anger has been turned aside by Jesus coming and that redemption is close at hand if they just reach out for it.
God is not angry with you, no matter who you are and what you have done. That has been resolved and reconciled. What remains is your decision to stop being angry with yourself, start loving the person you could become, and trusting, not being afraid for the Lord God is your strength and song.
From what I know, he never sings out of tune!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.