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  • Fr. Michael Gillis

The Wrath of God

The following is an excerpt on God's wrath from a blog post by Fr. Michael Gillis, priest-in-charge of Holy Nativity Orthodox Church, Langley, BC. To read the entire post, visit here. Fr. Michael blogs regularly for Ancient Faith Ministries at 'Praying in the Rain.'


What is wrath resulting in death in Psalm 7? Is it God finally losing control of His anger, a passionate anger like fallen human anger, and finally lashing out and killing all who offend Him? No, verses 14 to 16 explain.

Behold, the wicked man conceives evil, and is pregnant with mischief, and brings forth lies. What the wicked man experiences is the fruit of what he himself has conceived. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole which he has made. Man creates his own hell. The pit of hell he falls into is the very pit he spent his life digging for himself. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own pate his violence descends. The wrath, death in all of its forms, that falls on the head of man is the direct result of his own mischief. His violence is the recompense that descends on him.

This verse reminds me of the words of Lanza del Vasto, a Roman Catholic philosopher of the 20th century, who said something like this: If you throw rocks in the air, do not blame God for casting stones on your head. Yes, I could say that the stone that falls on my head is the wrath of God–for God created a universe in which rocks thrown in the air fall back down — but the direct cause of this wrath of God is not God, but my own stupidity. And more than this, in as much as I share in a common humanity, I also share in the common consequence of human sin. The particular suffering and death I experience is not necessarily the result of my particular sins (my particular rocks thrown in the air), but may be the rocks of my ancestors and neighbours — as if some rocks like meteors in descending orbit gather together and fall in showers for no apparent reason.


*To read the entire blog post in context, visit here.

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