This is a trite human expression that we commonly use to excuse sin, error, giving into temptation, and living or acting or thinking in a way that is contrary to Scripture. The Bible has a different term for these “slip ups”: unrighteousness. And God’s response to unrighteousness is anything but trite.
“God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day” (Psalm 7:11 ESV).
God does not look upon our unrighteous actions and hearts, shrug His shoulders, and say, “They’re only human.” He responds with feeling. Deep, strong feeling. He looks upon unrighteousness with a feeling of indignation. This is not a feeling we typically equate with God, yet it is one attribute of God. Even more terrifying is that indignation is connected with Him as the righteous judge who stands ready to respond to unrighteousness.
“If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow” (Psalm 7:12).
Upon knowing God’s righteous indignation, the call is not to ignore God’s feelings nor to say, “God is Love. He doesn’t judge.” To do so is utterly foolish. Upon recognizing our unrighteousness and God’s righteousness, the proper immediate response is to repent. Change one’s mind. Declare God to be holy, ourselves to be unrighteous, and to ask God to save us and change our hearts to match His.
God judges. We repent. God saves. His judging is for deliverance to “save the upright in heart” (Psalm 7:10). Upon repenting that “only human” is not an excuse in the court of God, we become those who, due to God’s saving might, are upright in heart.
How can we tell if we are those with an upright heart?
One way to tell is by our response to God’s righteous indignation: “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High” (Psalm 7:17).
If we thank God and praise God for His righteousness, we may be those of an upright heart. When we feel God’s indignation at unrighteousness, we have a heart that is in line with His. But there is more. At the same time as we feel God’s indignation, we also have God’s desire for people to repent and be saved and to join us in singing the praise of the Lord, the Most High.