Living Word Church
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Down-to-earth people looking upward to God
Anger with God and It’s Resolution
Copyright 2007 by Shea Oakley
All rights reserved
It is vitally important for struggling Christians to know that if they feel anger towards God in the midst of great pain God will not destroy them for it. But it is equally important for them to finally go beyond that anger and come to the point of realizing that He has the right to allow, or even cause, their pain for His own good purposes. Eventual repentance from anger against our Creator is necessary and part of that repentance must be grounded in this simple but profound fact: He is God, we are not.
This was the lot of Job. From a purely human perspective no one in the Bible had more right to be angry at God than he. By God’s own reckoning Job was a righteous man, yet God allowed Satan to destroy everything he held dear and then go on to deeply afflict him physically. Job had no idea why this was happening to him and after his initial “though He slays me yet will I trust Him” period at the beginning of the book he begins to become angry. In verse 15:13, for example, Eliphaz says to Job, “Why do your eyes flash, so that you vent your rage against God and pour out such words from your mouth?” In verse 18:4 Bildad calls Job “You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger.” By this point in the narrative, both by their words and his own, we can have no doubt that Job is angry and his anger has a Target. In fact Job is not only angry towards God. He goes so far as to accuse Him of wrongdoing.
In all this the Lord never sends down a lightening bolt to smite him from the Earth. Why? Perhaps it is because God still loves Job despite what He has allowed Satan to do to Job as well as how Job has reacted to it. Since God is unchanging we can be confident that we latter-day Job’s do not forfeit His love when we are upset with Him either.
But it is important to remember that Job does not stay angry with God indefinitely. Yahweh’s response to Job’s anger and accusation is to finally reveal Himself in all His holiness and sovereign power. This encounter completely overwhelms Job and absolutely convinces him that God is God and he is not. He repents in dust and ashes and God, Who has both proven His cosmic point to Job and won His cosmic wager with the Devil, restores Job completely.
Job is not the only biblical hero who has times of antagonism with his Lord, David and Jeremiah both come to mind. Despite what some timid or legalistic believers may tell you anger with God is not the unforgivable sin. In fact it seems reasonable to assume that God would rather deal with honest anger from His children than hypocritical piety towards Him when anger is what truly dwells in someone’s heart.
That said, anger long held against God is destructive to our relationship with Him and cannot be countenanced forever. Unchecked it leads to bitterness and alienation from the Lover of our souls. It is vital that we learn the same lesson that Job did and one more thing. We must come to both know and accept that we have no final justification in accusing God of treating us wrongly because He is intrinsically incapable of treating anyone wrongly. By His very nature God is God and therefore rightly sovereign over our lives and circumstances, but beyond that God is also good and he takes no pleasure in our afflictions. In fact such afflictions always have a redemptive purpose in the lives of his children. It is only through learning these definitive truths that we can come to our spiritual senses and turn from anger that has no legitimate grounds, no matter how much we feel it does.
When we do we will know the abundant blessings that are the fruit of reconciliation to the One Who took the ultimate initiative to be reconciled to us by bleeding and dying on a cross 2000 years ago.