That the Lord is slow to anger is found throughout Scripture. The first mention of this truth is found in Exodus where God reveals Himself to Moses . . . descending in a cloud . . . proclaiming His Name . . . revealing His glory (Ex. 34:5-7). And in doing so, one facet of His glorious character revealed, is His patience and longsuffering. And what does one do when one is shown the glory of God? Well, Moses bowed his head and worshiped (34:8). But what does God say when His children imitate Him in His glory? That’s beautiful!
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11 ESV)
Slow to anger . . . it’s a recurring theme in Proverbs . . . this is my fourth encounter with it . . . “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding (14:29) . . . “he who is slow to anger quiets contention” (15:18) . . . “whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty” (16:32). Great understanding . . . puts the lid on a quarrel . . . demonstrates a subtle but evident power and strength . . . such, says Wisdom, is the case with those who are slow to anger. And this morning Wisdom says as well, “Beautiful!”
It is to a person’s glory to overlook an offense . . . to let pass a transgression against themself. That word glory has the idea of beauty and splendor . . . used of fine garments or jewelry. In Wisdom’s estimation, in God’s economy, it’s not those who exact retribution, though it be just, who are regarded with honor . . . but those who are slow to anger and willingly let the wrong simply become a non-issue. Why? Because, I think, it reflects something of the glory of God.
In Isaiah I encountered the following, as well, this morning . . .
In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious . . . (Isaiah 4:2 ESV)
Messiah, the Branch, is beautiful and glorious . . . Jesus is beautiful and glorious . . . and when we heed Wisdom’s advice, and imitate Jesus, we too are esteemed as beautiful.
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. (1Peter 2:21-23 ESV)
Slow to anger, letting the transgression pass, forgiving others . . . it’s the heart of the Son . . . it’s the glory of the Father . . . it’s evidence of the working of Spirit in our lives . . . and it, says my God, is splendor!
O’, in grace, to overlook an offense . . . to be an imitator of God . . . to, in some small way, reflect something of His magnificent glory . . . yeah, that’s beautiful!