The Lord is slow to anger and of great forbearance,
But the Lord does not remit all punishment.
He travels in whirlwinds and storm,
And clouds are the dust on His feet.
He rebukes the sea and dries it up.
Actually God never angers, we project our human feelings onto him; but He is an infinite, never changing and perfect Being. He is the source and center of all existence, all creation, and all reality. Perhaps the prophet is referring unknowingly to Melchizedek here, but much more likely he is projecting his own feelings and emotions upon a God that he reveres but does not fully understand. The Urantia Book teaches us that it is our perceptions of God that change and that God is eternal and unchanging. When we are at the beginning of our development we fear the great and powerful God, but as we develop, we begin to understand that Gods true motive towards us is one of love. Our fear evolves through awe, reverence, and appreciation, and finally to love. "Fear is the beginning of wisdom, but love is at its end." And so, this passage above is one of many that misunderstand Gods true motives and intentions. The Urantia Book tells us that "Jesus did not hesitate to appropriate the better half of a scripture " and that he "appropriated the positive portion " (Paper 159). All human truth is partial and incomplete. We must always separate the wheat from the chaff, using both the external facts available and the internal guiding of The Spirit of Truth. Logic and intuition are both necessary and interdependent. The approaching age will be the age of Faith and Reason; Science and Religion; Intuition and Logic; Divine and Human; Matter and Spirit. And is replacing either/or in the harmonized philosophy of our near future. The Urantia Book is the stone on which such a philosophy will be built. And so, we proceed, appropriating the best in scripture, as did Jesus himself.
Behold on the hills
The footsteps of a herald
Announcing good fortune!
"Celebrate your festivals O Judah.
Fulfill your vows.
Never again shall scoundrels invade you,
They have totally vanished."
The herald is the final prophet announcing to Judah, modern Jews, that 'their divine being', Messiah/Melchizedek, reigns.
That scoundrels "never again" invade identifies this scripture with the end of the Age, messianic period. Scoundrels may still exist, but never again will they be given the right to oppress others. As we well know, "your right to swing your fist stops at anyone elses nose." Justice will reign over the world for the first time.
Moving ahead we next stop at Zephaniah on our chronologic journey.