This seems to be a rather strange response of the Spirit. In fact, I would have expected any other effect than this. I have always understood that the presence of the Spirit means love. Yet here I am told that its purpose was to create anger in King Saul. Does that mean that there is a love that is compatible with anger? I believe that the answer is “yes.”
In the book of Revelation I read about “the wrath of the Lamb.” Isn’t that an odd statement? Does that mean that the Lamb lost the presence of the Spirit and suddenly burst into anger? Absolutely not. In fact, I believe that it is the Spirit’s presence that gives Him His wrath.
There is an anger that comes from the spirit of man, and there is an anger that comes from the Spirit of God. The anger of man resents the hurt; but the anger of the Spirit resents the wrong. The anger of man reacts because his pride has been wounded; but the anger of the Spirit responds because His heart has been wounded. Man’s anger rages that he has been injured; but the Spirit’s anger grieves that God has been injured. Man’s anger cries for revenge, but the Spirit’s anger cries out for atonement.
The Spirit of Christ has come to consecrate the whole of my human nature – including my anger. He hasn’t come to destroy my personality, but rather redeem it from destruction. There have been times in my life when I shouldn’t have been angry, but I was. There have also been times in my life when I should have been angry, but I wasn’t. I have been angry because the gourd withered, but I wasn’t angry over what caused it to wither. I am anxious to avenge the result of some personal offense, but I’m not so anxious to deal with the root of the offense.
One of the reasons why I so desperately need the Spirit’s personal presence is so He can create in me a profound, divine horror over that which blights the gourd. I need to be inspired with a love that hates hate, despises scorn and rages against injustice. I need Him to stir up within my spirit a great groaning in which my tears do no come from weakness, but are born of a holy passion against hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions and heresies. I need Him to fan in my heart a fiery zeal that burns with a holy hatred over those things that destroy life’s temple.
So often the passions of my heart are owned by my own selfishness and sin. May they be transformed into the Lord’s righteousness and be used for His service. For, when His fire baptizes my heart, I will know what it truly means to “be angry, and sin not.”