Why Blame God?

July 16, 2017

When people get sick, lose their jobs or go through difficulties in life, many of them tend to blame the Lord and not themselves for their predicament. It is as if the Lord had caused these things to happen in their lives. While there are many people that question God, the reality, however, is that they should not blame anyone but themselves. The Book of Proverbs rightly says, “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord” (Prov. 19:3). It is our own foolish actions that cause us to suffer because God works on the principle of sowing and reaping. This was the reason why the apostle Paul emphatically said, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8).

This tendency to get mad against God is not new. We can see this reaction even from the beginning, when Cain murdered his brother Abel. Cain was mad that God was not pleased with his offering, unlike his brother Abel who found favour before the Lord because his offering was pleasing to him. Since he could not go against God directly, he poured his wrath on his brother and killed him. But Cain had no one else to blame but himself for not being found pleasing before God. He did not give his best when he presented his offering. Nevertheless, Cain could have reversed his situation had he listened to God who said, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Gen. 4:6-7).

Another case recorded in the Bible is when King Asa of Judah was enraged against the Lord after being rebuked for his actions. While he started well and had done great things at the beginning, his pride caused him to rage against the Lord when he was rebuked by a prophet for relying on men rather than the Lord. He was so enraged against the prophet that he put the prophet in prison. He also brutally oppressed some of the people. He was later afflicted with a disease in his feet. “Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians” (2 Chron. 16:12).

In both cases, it was on account of their foolishness that they suffered. But who are the fools? We can group them into three categories. The first group consists of the simple fools. In Proverbs 14:15, we are told that “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” This kind of fool does not consider the consequence of his action. He just keeps going regardless of the perceived danger. The second group is the scornful fools. These are the mockers. Proverbs 13:1 says, “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.” In fact, they react negatively when they are rebuked, just like King Asa. You can hardly get anything good from them. The Book of Proverbs warns, “Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you” (Prov 9:8). Many have even departed from the church because they are simply mockers who do not want to be rebuked for their wicked deeds.

The third group of fools is the steadfast or hardened fools. These are the ones that David was referring to in his Psalm. He said, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1). Their unbelief is more than words. They are actually manifesting it in their wicked actions. They have corrupted their mind and consciences and they go from bad to worse. They are like those who lived in the days of Noah where every thought and inclination of the heart was only towards evil.

If there are foolish people around, how do we respond to them? In the Book of Proverbs, we are admonished: “Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips” (Prov. 14:7). There is nothing that we can get to benefit us if we choose to hang out with them. In fact, we can be ensnared by them and by the time we know it, we are just like them. Let us rather listen to another admonition in the Book of Proverbs that says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (Prov. 13:20). Let us not waste our time with fools but spend it wisely as we associate with the wise. It is only then that we get the wisdom not to blame God for the consequence of our actions. Let us be wise and more circumspect in our decisions and actions which will then glorify God. Amen.