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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