Christians can rightly get angry about evil and injustice:
As a Christian, do you ever get angry? I do. And there is a place for it. Recall that Ephesians 4:26 (quoting Psalm 4:4), says that we can be angry, but it should not become sinful in its expression and duration. So some righteous indignation can well have a place in the life of the believer.
Indeed, anyone reading through the Psalms, as I am now doing again, will see this on display constantly. Godly saints, including the man after God’s own heart – David – all were angry against that which is evil – including evil people. And they told God that explicitly. And forcefully.
In the past 24 hours at least four different things have bothered me greatly, have involved evil people doing evil things, have driven me to prayer – and yes, have gotten me angry. Let me briefly mention each of them, and then look at some Scriptures.
One thing that really gets me upset is when the powers that be can destroy the career of someone just because they are Christians and conservatives. One friend has lost his job and is languishing in no man’s land, all because of these evil PC tyrants. I just chatted with him again last night. This makes my blood boil. You can see his story here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2020/03/30/the-big-brother-purge-of-conservative-christians-in-australia/
The next thing that has utterly incensed me – and should outrage every single Victorian – is our hyper-left Premier who is shutting us down again. He did nothing about 10,000 BLM marchers recently, and so a small corona spike has resulted.
So now he is doing even more draconian lockdown measures, and has the gall to blame it, not on himself and his failed leadership, but on families: “It is unacceptable that families anywhere in our state can, just because they want this to be over, pretend that it is.” No, YOU are unacceptable Dan. https://www.theepochtimes.com/vic-premier-blames-families-for-daily-spikes-of-ccp-virus-cases-halts-lifting-restrictions_3395389.html
When I speak of Diabolical Dan Andrews, I am not just using alliteration – I am stating my conviction that this man really is evil, and he has done so many evil things – not least of which his latest corruption scandal. My prayer for him and others like him is: “improve or remove”. Either let him get wondrously converted and repent of his evil ways, or take him out of the picture – remove him from office, or something more permanent.
And two overseas episodes. The idiots (and yes they are idiots) who have taken over a city centre in Seattle have just had their first killing. These fools would not know how to run a candy shop, let alone form their own little Marxist “utopia”. These anarchists and revolutionaries who have taken over the property of others are a joke, and they make me angry every time I hear about them: https://www.foxnews.com/media/seattle-police-union-chief-violence-chop-troubling
Finally, we have what seems to be yet another case of those in the ‘religion of peace’ going around killing innocent people. In the UK folks celebrating the easing of lockdown measures had to deal with a reported Libyan terrorist who stabbed to death three people and wounded another. If this is indeed another Islamic jihad attack, that always makes me angry: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/reading-stabbing-town-centre-latest-priti-patel-a9577526.html
So there is plenty to get upset about – and rightly so. We should be angered by evil and injustice and the loss of innocent life. That should bother us all – greatly. But some squeamish believers might say there is no place for such anger, or such concerns. Well, they may need to start reading through the Psalms.
They are absolutely full of godly people who are angry about injustice and the enemies of God, who are regularly calling out to God for justice, for retribution, and for vindication.
One Psalm that I just read this morning (Psalm 83:1-5) says this:
O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against your treasured ones.
They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
For they conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant…
Indeed, the entire 18 verses of this Psalm are all about pleas to God that he would bring payback, justice and vindication on these enemies. As we read in verses 13-15:
O my God, make them like whirling dust,
like chaff before the wind.
As fire consumes the forest,
as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
so may you pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your hurricane!
There are just too many Psalms like this to mention here. So let me offer some – as found in the first 50 Psalms. It is hard to read through the Psalter without encountering these repeatedly. They are everywhere. So here is a selection of these sorts of lament and imprecatory Psalms found in just the first third of the Psalter:
Ps 3:7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
Psalm 6:8-10 Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
Psalm 7:6 Arise, LORD, in your anger;
rise up against the rage of my enemies.
Awake, my God; decree justice.
Psalm 8:2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalm 9:1-6 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
My enemies turn back;
they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause,
sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,
you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.
Psalm 9:11-12 Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!
For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
Psalm 10:15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
Psalm 13:1-2 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Psalm 18:37-43 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the Lord, but he did not answer.
I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
I trampled them like mud in the streets.
You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations.
Psalm 18:46-48 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
who rescued me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you delivered me from the man of violence.
Psalm 21:8-12 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
your right hand will seize your foes.
When you appear for battle,
you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
and his fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
their posterity from mankind.
Though they plot evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
You will make them turn their backs
when you aim at them with drawn bow.
Psalm 25:2 I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Psalm 25:19-20 See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
Psalm 26:1 Vindicate me, Lord,
for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the Lord
and have not faltered.
Psalm 28:4 Give to them according to their work
and according to the evil of their deeds;
give to them according to the work of their hands;
render them their due reward.
Psalm 30:1 I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Psalm 31:14-18 But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
Let me not be put to shame, Lord,
for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
and be silent in the realm of the dead.
Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
Psalm 35:24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
according to your righteousness,
and let them not rejoice over me!
Psalm 43:1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
Psalm 44:7-8 but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever.
Psalm 45:4-5 In your majesty ride out victoriously
for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
Your arrows are sharp
in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.
Get the picture? These are found throughout not just the Psalms but throughout Scripture. For more biblical and theological background to such prayers and such godly anger against evil, see these articles:
In sum, there is certainly a place for anger – especially if it is aimed at injustice, and evildoers, and those who hate and mock God and his people, and so on. These prayers asking for vengeance and vindication are all part of the inspired Psalter, which is a collection of hymns sung by the Jews in worship.
So if ancient Israel could use such Psalms as part of corporate prayer and worship, we Christians can do so as well. At the very least, we should be concerned about cases of evil and injustice. Yes, they should make us angry – angry enough to at least pray and cry out to God for vindication and justice.