Do Not Become “Enraged Against Jehovah”
When things go wrong due to a person’s own lack of wisdom, or because of someone else’s mistake, he may tend to blame God.
IT IS a human tendency, when things do not go just right, to blame someone or something for it. And often, the trouble is charged to God. If there is a food shortage in a certain area, people may make the accusation that God is letting them go hungry. Or, when unemployment causes hardships, some ask, ‘Why does God bring suffering on us?’ But is God really to blame?
Actually, God does not bring such hardships on people and he is not partial, “since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good.” (Matt. 5:45) The adversities people suffer today come because we are all imperfect people, living in an imperfect, man-made setup, which is operated, for the most part, on selfish principles. Moreover, a person may encounter difficulty merely because of unwise action on his own part.
In most cases, men are reluctant to find themselves at fault, or even to acknowledge that the man-made system of things as a whole is distorted and is to blame for the world’s calamities. (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2, 3) It has taken place as the Scriptures say: “It is the foolishness of an earthling man that distorts his way, and so his heart becomes enraged against Jehovah himself.” (Prov. 19:3) Or, as rendered by another translator: “A man’s ignorance muddles his affairs and he flies out against Jehovah.”—Byington.
This is a dangerous course to take. Our first forefather Adam furnished us a warning example. He originally enjoyed great prosperity and peace, perfection of body and a gardenlike home in a beautiful location. (Gen. 2:7-9) He loved what God gave him but failed to appreciate and to credit his Giver for the things so abundantly provided. When things did not go right he was ready to blame God. In self-justification for his disobedience, he said to God: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree and so I ate.” In effect, he was excusing himself for his failure to exercise loyalty to God and headship over his household, charging God with giving him a bad wife.—Gen. 3:12.
So Adam’s selfish thinking and action distorted his way. His heart’s affections turned away from Jehovah. He set out his own independent course, becoming an enemy of God, and brought his own way and that of his family “to ruin.” (Prov. 19:3, Revised Standard Version) Yes, with sin and imperfection ruling, and with each going his independent way, no one knows what may befall him, for “time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.”—Eccl. 9:11.
Those who feel that God is to blame for undesirable conditions might therefore ask themselves, Have I given God credit for the good things I have? In prosperous times have I attributed my prosperity to him, or have I credited myself? Do I thank him that I have life as one of his creations? Also, have I merited his favor or help by giving attention to his principles as found in the Bible?
AMONG THOSE CLAIMING TO SERVE GOD
The Jewish religious leaders in the first century are an illustration of what happens when persons professing to serve God neglect his word of truth and lean on their own understanding. (Matt. 15:8, 9) Their way became distorted and they actually became “enraged against Jehovah himself.” (Compare Acts 5:34, 38, 39.) Because what Jesus Christ said revealed their wrong thinking, they put him to death. Later they showed extreme rage against Jesus’ disciples because the disciples spoke the truth from God’s Word to them.—Acts 7:54-60.
Sad to say, some individuals in the Christian congregation may also develop a wrong attitude, laying responsibility on God for difficulties encountered. Things that go wrong due to a person’s own lack of wisdom, or because of imperfection or mistake on the part of another, may be blamed upon God. For example, a person may be offended by what a brother in the congregation says or does. The offended one may then say, ‘Well, as long as he is in the congregation I won’t attend the meetings anymore.’ Or he may say, ‘If God lets things like this go on, I don’t want to be in the congregation.’ Again, he may complain, ‘If this is an example of what the truth does for a person, I don’t want anything to do with it.’
Is this sound, sober thinking? What a contradictory thing to say, that the truth would cause a person to be bad! And if personally offended, why “take it out” on the congregation and thereby on God himself? Why should one professing to be a Christian let another person, or a set of circumstances, destroy good relations with God?
So, the individual making such rash statements actually is expressing rage “against Jehovah.” What reasonableness is there in this? Even if someone else or something occurring in the congregation displeased or seriously offended him, the individual really is distorting his way, because he is not using his perceptive powers properly. (Heb. 5:14) Otherwise he would not adopt an unreasonable, disloyal attitude toward Jehovah, the Owner of the true Christian congregation.—Ps. 119:165.
The danger to a Christian is that such an attitude may become ingrained. It becomes deep-seated, affecting the HEART. The Christian will rarely accuse Jehovah directly. But in his heart he may be impatient with God and may feel justified in being angry, his own heart misleading him into rage against Jehovah.
Everyone at times experiences some irritating circumstance. And a person may feel very downhearted and frustrated, perhaps angry. But he should be alert to the warning signs and deal with the problem on a Scriptural basis. (Eph. 4:26) He should make efforts to work out the problem immediately, with the assistance of the elders in the congregation if necessary. Even if it is not worked out to his satisfaction, he should not let his emotions drive him to act foolishly. He should watch that his way of walking in the truth does not become distorted. Otherwise, his relationship to God will be damaged, his vision become unclear and his heart “enraged against Jehovah himself.”
In view of this danger, the Bible gives counsel: “More than all else that is to be guarded, safeguard your heart, for out of it are the sources of life.” (Prov. 4:23) Keeping our senses and not distorting our way by unwise action or foolish thinking will enable us to keep our balance. (1 Pet. 1:13) Then, rather than blame Jehovah, we will call upon him as a loving God who cares. He will give us understanding and guide our course in a straight, sure path.—Prov. 3:5, 6.