If you are a parent you know the moment…it is that moment when you have had enough. Your kid has done something for the umpteenth time and they have been at it for several hours. You finally hit your limit and you let them know it in the strongest possible terms…in public. Store patrons are aghast…what an evil parent. They probably act like this all the time! That poor child…are they abused at home? Assumptions fly and the broader context of what lead up to this moment goes unnoticed.
We cannot develop doctrines of God based on the grocery store moments of the Bible. God is incredibly patient but there is a point in time He will let you know He has had enough. This isn’t an indictment on God’s patience. It takes a lot to get Him there.
We see this in the wilderness wanderings after the exodus. God finally has enough and decides to destroy them all and Moses talks God out of it. We see this in the prophets when they warn of destruction. Read Isaiah 59. Verse 2 is where we get that verse about sins separating people from God. Whole doctrines hang on that verse about what sin does, seemingly any sin, to our relationship with God. Read the whole chapter. Read the whole book of Isaiah for that matter and see all that leads up to that moment!
You have to read all that leads up to these moments to understand why God finally says what He says and does what He does just like if you found out that before the grocery store that kid was beating against the back of the driver’s seat while being warned to stop, was yelling in the house and wouldn’t get dressed to get out the door or find their shoes…etc, etc. When you see that angry parent in the store be patient with them…this is not how they typically act and a lot has led up to that moment. The same is the case with God. This isn’t indicative of His wrath as much as it is His patience in all that led up to the moment where He finally has enough.