Since God Is Sovereign, Man’s Wrath Pays Dividends to His Praise and the Comfort of His People

“We live in a very angry provoking world; we often feel much, and are apt to fear more, from the wrath of man, which seems boundless. But this is a great comfort to us,

1. That as far as God permits the wrath of man to break forth at any time he will make it turn to his praise, will bring honour to himself and serve his own purposes by it: Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee, not only by the checks given to it, when it shall be forced to confess its own impotency, but even by the liberty given to it for a time. The hardships which God’s people suffer by the wrath of their enemies are made to redound to the glory of God and his grace; and the more the heathen rage and plot against the Lord and his anointed the more will God be praised for setting his King upon his holy hill of Zion in spite of them, [ed. Psalm] ii. 1,6. When the heavenly hosts make this the matter of their thanksgiving-song that God has taken to himself his great power and has reigned, though the nations were angry (Rev.xi. 17,18), then the wrath of man adds lustre to the praises of God.

2. That what will not turn to his praise shall not be suffered to break out: The remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. Men must never permit sin, because they cannot check it when they will; but God can. He can set bounds to the wrath of man, as he does to the raging sea. Hitherto it shall come and no further; here shall its proud waves be stayed. God restrained the remainder of Sennacherib’s rage, for he put a hook in his nose and a bridle in his jaws (Isa. xxxvii. 29); and, though he permitted him to talk big, he restrained him from doing what he designed.”[1]

1. Henry, Matthew. Commentary on the Whole Bible. Volume III: Job to Song of Solomon. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revel Company, page 526.

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