by Barbara Ann Oliver
“David became angry because of the Lord’s outburst against Uzzah” (2 Samuel 6:8).
I had a friend and mentor when I was still a fairly new Christian. She was excited about her Christianity and she was a wonderful influence on the young people with whom she came into contact. It was a joy to see her celebration of life.
Unfortunately, early in their marriage her young husband died. She was so upset and angry that she blamed God. She had worshiped her husband and her life with him so much that, without him, she refused to worship God.
As a result, her children grew up without God and the influence of the church. By the time she finally returned to God later in life, it was too late for her children.
David was in a celebratory mood. He was bringing the ark home to Jerusalem. Suddenly, the party mood was broken when God struck Uzzah dead for touching the ark. David’s joy turned to anger toward God. Refusing to take the ark any further, he left it in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.
“Thus the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household” (2 Samuel 6:11).
Now, David was no fool. When he found out that Obed-edom’s house was being blessed because of the ark, he decided to bring it home to Jerusalem after all. Apparently, his anger toward God had dissipated enough for him to realize that he was missing out on the blessings.
Job is another example of the exuberant celebration of life cut short. His children and everything that he owned were taken from him. In one day, Job’s happy life disintegrated before his eyes.
After the loss of his family, later, his body became infected with boils and he was totally miserable. But when his wife advised him to just go ahead and curse God and die, he rebuked her.
“Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10).
Job, in physical and emotional pain, even though he didn’t understand why all these bad things were happening to him, refused to turn his back on God.
The thing about the crises in our live is that they happen when everything seems to be going well. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a crisis! The question is, do we love God during those times? Do we lean on him or do we curse him?
Job spent seven days with his friends, questioning God and his intentions. When he finally accepted that God had his own reasons, God blessed him.
David, because of his anger toward God, spent three months letting someone else enjoy the blessings that rightfully belonged to him and to the house of Israel. When he got over his anger, God blessed him.
My friend spent years and years being mad at God. Finally, when she got over her mad, God once again blessed her life. But she lives to this day with the consequences of her prolonged anger toward God.
Anger can hurt us. It can hurt our relationships, our peace of mind, our health.
Anger towards God deprives us of the blessings that can come through adversity. It deprives us of the strength that comes only from him. And if left unchecked, it deprives us of eternal life with him.
God understands that we get angry (Ephesians 4:26). So instead of forbidding it, he gives us the best advice: get over it quickly!