[forthright] Mad at God

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 17:48:45 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Final Phase

Mad at God
by J. Randal Matheny

One proud grandmother tells that one Sunday the
preacher raised his voice and hit the pulpit.
Startled, her three-year-old grandson asked
loudly, "Mommy, why is he mad at God?"

His mother explained, but he wasn't convinced.
"Yes, he is, he is talking mean to God."

We smile at the tyke's confusion, but in other
moments, he would be right to protest.

As when Cain was angry when his sacrifice was not
accepted. Unable to take it out on God, he killed
his brother.

Or when the children of Israel complained of
meager provisions in the desert and threatened to
return to Egypt.

Or when Jonah pouted on the hillside outside
Ninevah. "I knew you would forgive!" He was mad
because God was being ... God.

Or when Israel protested that God wasn't blessing
them when they insisted on continuing in sin.

Or when I expected that job, but it didn't pan
out.

Or when John got the brushoff from the woman he
thought he would marry.

Or when the debts pile up, the relationships go
sour, the business deal flops.

"Why did you let this happen?" we ask.

We get mad at God because he doesn't act as we
expect. He fails to live up to our demands. He
disagrees with our view of what is Right and Good.

But I don't define those, God does. If his idea of
Right and Good doesn't mesh with mine, who's most
likely to get it wrong?

The issue is trust. With a long view. I thought
this, right now, would be good. But the Lord is
greater than I am, he knows what will turn out
best in the long run, not just for me or mine, but
for his Cause and Kingdom.

So the three-year-old asks, this time, of us. "Why
are you mad at God?"

Even a tyke can tell that's not smart.

"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is
just?" (Genesis 18:25, ESV).

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