For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
The following are suggested by this passage.
1. God is love. David inscribed over the portal of his house, "His anger is but for a moment," etc. Did he not thus in broken and imperfect symbols speak out this truth of all truths that has been revealed from Calvary and the Ascension Mount, and which has been given to us that we may herald it to the world? "Herein is love, not that we loved God," etc. It is in the light of that revelation of love, that we are to read the riddles of our existence. It is in the light of that revelation, and that alone, that the clouds of our forebodings and our despondencies can be put to flight. God's government of the world, His providential ordering of the whole of the human race and of each individual life is for our everlasting good, and it is in accordance with His own nature of love. In that government nothing is forgotten; in that loving plan no heart has been left desolate. There is no deviation in the path of His intended progress; there is no friction in the Divine workings; for all things work together for good unto them that love God.
2. Another thing suggested by this passage is, that not only is His Divine anger consistent with Divine love, but given the fact that this love of God is love to free beings, to beings who are sinning continually, we may say that anger is absolutely essential to righteous love. God is the eternal righteousness as well as the eternal love. Calvary is the transcendent revelation to the world of the Divine love, but it is also the transcendent revelation of Divine righteousness. Because God is righteous God is angry. He is angry with the wicked, with corruption, impurity, cruelty, selfishness, falsehood, injustice, oppression, envy, hatred, murder, strife. What parent that truly loves his child will let that child flagrantly and persistently sin and not punish him? The rod is often a fitter emblem of love than a kiss.
3. These two visitors, Weeping and Joy, come instrumentally in the hands of God to the homes of a world that is being governed and directed by a righteous love. I do not say that Weeping is the messenger of God's anger, and that Joy, on the other hand, is the messenger of His love. They are both messengers of His will; they both subserve His redemptive purposes; both of them alike may be messengers of His anger, as both of them alike may be messengers of His love. But although we should regard them as symbolic figures severally of anger and of love, the experiences of human life, when the house is hushed with grief, when the heart is low, followed — as, blessed be God! they are followed — by days of gladness, by giving "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" — all this experience of life should remind us that in the lines along which God is working, the secret principles of His government by that which is good and by that which is painful, through Weeping and through Joy, through this strangely mingled experience of human life, He is slowly working out that great purpose and toward that great end, the eternal good of all His creatures. God's anger is special treatment for a critical hour; it is the probing of the wound; it is the changing, as it were, of the motive power in the secret nature of the soul; and it is only that we may remember that the Father of Spirits, in subjection to whom we live, is also the Ancient of Days and the Eternal Righteousness. But the Divine anger is transient. Anger will not keep; it is impossible that righteous anger can be kept; it is like the coal dropped hot from the furnace that cools every moment. Such is the anger of a righteous, loving being. It is not hatred and enmity and jealousy, but it is anger, a frown which, when the child sees, passes into a smile of paternal tenderness and love.
(R. B. Brindley.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.