19 ¶ A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.
Hot tempered people, people with no control over their anger, which abides and turns into wrath, the perpetually angry person, will again and again create situations from which he must be delivered. Wrath and anger are synonyms only with wrath being anger that continues. Only God is justified in His anger and His wrath at a continually cruel, rebellious, and disobedient world of men. You are not God (except maybe in your own heart you think you are.) Anger is a flash but wrath burns for a long time. Some people stay angry. In two verses I quoted in studying verse 18 both words are used in contrast.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
In the following verse, the nature of both anger, which is fierce, and wrath, which is cruel, are defined.
Genesis 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
The next verses hint at the time frame of both. Anger expresses itself as a response but when it lasts a time it becomes wrath. The verse in Hosea alludes to the demand from Israel for a human king just like the nations around them, rejecting God as their king (1 Samuel 8:7). Then, after giving them hundreds of years to do right He finally removed that last king.
Hosea 13:11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.
The second is written directly to us Christians.
Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
The Christian serves no purpose with either anger or wrath. He or she is to put both aside.
Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
The famous Calvinist preacher John Gill uses this verse in Proverbs in his commentary to denounce punishing a child in wrath just as much as it is a sin for a child to deliberately provoke a parent to wrath. (Come on, you know you did it deliberately. I did.) Some parents are perpetually angry. I know I was. This is a sin.
Are you headstrong, quarrelsome, always angry, full of wrath? Do you come close to getting into trouble each day as you feel disrespected by other motorists, clerks in stores, people walking down the street, friends, and relatives, as well as your own children? Is every inattention, discourtesy, or act of forgetfulness a personal insult against you? Do you believe that you alone are entitled to drive unhindered by the left turns into traffic of other people on a busy street (drives me nuts)? Does your teenager seem to be constantly looking to receive a rebuke from you in every word and deed? Is your toddler so clumsy beyond all normal expectations that they must be spilling drinks and turning over plates of food on purpose? Does it drive you to distraction that your pet doesn’t appreciate the importance of your departed Grandmother’s special plate you’ve sat on the top shelf of the cabinet where she likes to sit? Does your wife or husband’s preoccupation with the news, sports, a cooking show, or the lawn or garden feel like a very deliberate slight?
Does every act of government that doesn’t please you call for revolution? Do you feel constantly like suing your neighbor because he doesn’t keep his yard to your standards, tests his car engine, or has family get togethers too often and loud? Are you always angry at someone or something? Do you even kick inanimate objects that don’t bend to your will? Throw bolts that won’t fit? Break things that don’t work easily? When was the last time you swore at your computer? How long have you been angry at God for taking someone you loved or permitting a bad situation to continue when you felt helpless to resolve it?
Christian, you don’t have a personality problem, as in “that’s just me”. You have a sin problem. You need to get on your knees or on your face and plead with God to deliver you from it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. You wrath is not pleasing to God. And you will spend your entire life apologizing, paying fines or going to jail, alienating people who want to love you, and destroying your health. You’ll need deliverance over and over again until you “get it” or you die from wrecking your heart.
One of the things a Christian parent must teach their child is how to deal with anger so that it doesn’t become wrath. They do this by personal example, by not putting wrath in front of their eyes on television and movies or in their ears by popular music, and by daily reading the Bible together and by family prayers.
There is nothing better to find out what is your child’s proclivity to wrath than by praying together as a family. Your child will know that bringing hurts and slights to God is the appropriate way to deal with anger, not in bluster, vanity, or wrath. Early in the morning or in the evening, get on your knees with your family, pray together, read the Bible aloud. Do it when your children are young and they want to hear what you have to say. Every single parent or child I’ve ever talked to who has done this daily has had a good outcome. Don’t make it a chore, make it a joy, something the child will look forward to, and when they are older they will look forward to it.
As for you, get over it and start reading your Bible. I’d recommend Ephesians every time you even feel annoyed but read the Bible through over and over. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Deal with your anger and your wrath now. You are poisoning your children, your marriage, and perhaps your friendships. You will have to be delivered from trouble over and over again by God because the wrathful person is not a tough guy or girl, he or she is simply a fool.