If God Knows All Things Then Why Does He Get Angry?

By Elias Ayala (MDiv & M.A.T.)

If God Knows All Things Then Why Does He get Angry?It is true that God knows all things (1 John 3:20), and as such, nothing is a surprise to him. Nevertheless, if God knew from all eternity that Bob would commit some sin in the future, it is not at all inconsistent for God to reveal his displeasure the moment Bob performs the sin within space, time, and history. God can know something will occur in the future, and then reveal his attitude towards it in the present.

Christian theism teaches that God is a personal being that interacts with his creation. However, the Bible does not go into detail in regards to “how” an eternal and transcendent being interacts with his creation. The fact is that he does interact with his creation. Within the context of interpersonal relations between God and man, theologians have understood much of how this interaction is described within the text of scripture as anthropomorphism. An Anthropomorphism is an attribution of human characteristics to God. This is done so as to help finite creatures relate to their creator and use language through which we can begin to understand how God interacts and relates to his creation.

A good example of anthropomorphic language would be found in the following scriptural passage: God speaking: “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech” (Genesis 11:7). Does God literally “go down” as though God is spatially located in one place such that he then must move so as to get to another place? Of course not! The Bible clearly teaches that God is not limited by spatial location; God is everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12). Yet, this anthropomorphic language is helpful and useful to get the point of across that God is aware of what was going on and he is going to make an evaluative judgment.

If the Bible spoke of God entirely in relation to his transcendence, then we would not be able to comprehend his interactions with creation, and with human beings. However, since God so desired to interact with man in a meaningful fashion he did so in a way that was comprehensible. Furthermore, he inspired scripture so as it was to be written in a way that described his interaction with his creation in a relational and personal fashion. God is personal, and he stands in meaningful relationship with his image bearers.

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