Is God Really to Blame?
Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong, for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Psalm 37:1-2
When British rock star Liam Gallagher’s father took a hammer and struck his mother, he blamed God. “I stopped believing in God because of what happened to me,” he said, explaining that he and his mother and two brothers were forced to move into an apartment and start another life.
Yes, blame God. I’ve never quite been able to understand why God becomes the whipping boy for all human failure instead of the refuge to whom we run when people fail us and situations develop which are hostile to us.
If God mechanically dictated the conduct of people who were no more than robots without a will of their own, then the owner-operator of the universe might be held accountable. But to blame God for human failure is logic badly flawed.
The fact is, we live in an imperfect, broken world. I remember one week in particular that was a tough one for me. A very good friend, dying with cancer of the brain, had been given four weeks to live, at best. Two other friends faced surgery for cancer. The two-year-old daughter of a family friend drowned in a swimming pool accident. Another friend, a capable writer and pastor for whom I have a great deal of respect, fell from a ladder and was pronounced brain dead, leaving behind two daughters and a wife.
A Christian performer who does children’s music tells kids that if they will pray, God will send an angel to protect them. True, the Psalms tell us that the “angel of the Lord camps round about them that fear him,” but this is not to suggest that for believers there is a safety net which protects us from all human failure along with the vagaries and accidental happenings of an imperfect world.
Must blame be established for everything? Lacking an understanding of the impact of sin on our world, we tend to blame God for things we dislike, which makes us more comfortable in our decision to put our backs to Him and go the opposite direction.
We mistakenly think that this relieves us of our moral responsibility and lets us off the hook for our own human failure.
Take time to turn to Psalm 37 in your Bible and read how David assessed some of the struggles of life. The issue of human suffering and failure and who is responsible is as old as humanity itself. Nearly 3,000 years ago, David struggled with this very issue. He concluded, “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong, for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they soon die away” (Psalm 37:1-2).
David had many reasons for which he could have tried to hold God accountable for trouble. He could have said, “Look God, Samuel anointed me as king, something you asked him to do; and ever since, Saul has hunted me as an animal and sought to kill me.” No, instead, David turned to the Lord and cried, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliver; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge…” (Psalm 18:2).
The term the rock was one of David’s favorite expressions for God or the place where he met Him. In Psalm 61 David cried, “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe” (Psalm 61:2-3).
In times of trouble, your attitude and your posture make all the difference in the world. Instead of blaming God, run to Him and pour out your heart to Him in prayer. Let Him bring the comfort of His presence and speak to your troubled heart. Strive to remember that someday things will make sense and then we will understand.
Resource reading: Psalm 37:1-9