Shaking Our Fists at God
From time to time, we may hear or read someone complaining about their existence or the general existence of mankind such as it is now. The complaints range from personal [why their lives are so difficult or full of suffering] or extremely broad [why does pain and suffering exist at all], but the complaint is pointed at the one they believe is behind their unhappiness. It may even be pointed at God as the cause or source of their unhappiness. Whichever the case, the complainant figuratively shakes his or her fist to the sky, angry at God.
With fewer and fewer people knowledgeable of God and His very nature and character, it seems more and more people are more and more unhappy with their lives, or certain details about their lives, unhappy with the way society operates, unhappy with nature itself and how that affects them personally, unhappy with the treatment of certain classes in society, unhappy with the gender with which they were born, unhappy with the morals of those who aren’t ruled by their fleshly lusts, and unhappy with anything that restricts them from doing whatever they want without shame or criticism or condemnation.
If you have kept up with the news at all in the last couple of decades, you have certainly heard of the movement to accept homosexuality and transgenderism. Nowadays, should anyone stand up and declare that what is being promoted and legislated into ‘acceptance’ as against the very nature of humanity, they are decried as ‘bigots’ and hate-mongers who should be silenced, or sent back to the Middle Ages, along with their backward and non-progressive thinking.
These movements are just a small part of the overall effort of certain circles within society who seek the complete elimination of any restrictions on sexual activity or identity [moral or legal], and our mainstream media is taking up their cause and helping promote its normalization even as they simultaneously ostracize those who disagree. What used to be identified as aberrant and/or abnormal behavior or thinking is now touted as perfectly normal, and anyone who calls a female a female is now blasted as sexist or ‘gender-restrictive.’ Now, we are being forced by legislation and edict to use gender-neutral terms and cease using terms that have been around since the existence of mankind on this earth because some are offended.
This aim to eliminate gender identity has now reached into the realm of childbirth, with the recent announcement that someone has created an artificial womb. Responses to the possibility of humans being born outside of a woman’s uterus have led some to rejoice at this, declaring it “perhaps one of the most profound I can imagine for our species...the violence of childbirth 4 (sic) women should be an option not a necessity.”
“Violence of childbirth”? Can you see the insinuation of unfairness and inequity implied by this terminology? Whoever wrote this is angry at nature for the fact women — and not men — are the only ones who can give birth! Friends and brethren, they are angry at God for deciding this! Once again, mankind shakes the collective fist at God in anger!
I am reminded of time when the Israelites were getting further and further from God [by their choice, not God’s] and their service to Him was mere lip service; it was then they were so ignorant of God and His ways that they actually believed they could hide their evil deeds from God. To them, God said through Isaiah, “Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; for shall the thing made say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me’? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” (Isa. 29:16). Their ignorance of God gave them false confidence in their own abilities, and they came to believe God would not know what they were doing and planning, so they decided they would do whatever they wanted, with no accountability. He knew.
I am also reminded of the warning He gave them later, saying, “Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’” (Isa. 45:9). It seems man [the potsherd] is complaining to God [the maker] even today, and it is no less foolish.
Consider the situation of Job, who faced unfathomable losses because the devil wanted to show God Job only served Him because He protected Job. At first, Job accepted that life was not always going to be good (Job 2:10), and trusted in God (Job 13:15), but he would soon accuse God of having wronged him (Job 19:6), and declared his desire to come before God and present his case (Job 23:1-7). To Job, it seemed completely reasonable, in his distress, that he could challenge God and question Him about why he [Job] had suffered.
Until God did come before him.
After all of Job’s so-called friends had their say, and Job was done, God came, and said, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me” (Job 38:1-3). And then God begins asking Job about what he actually knew, compared to God’s knowledge, especially regarding the natural world (Job 38, 39). At that round’s completion, God asks Job, “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it” (Job 40:1, 2). Here was Job’s chance!
Job, though, could only reply, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; yes, twice, but I will proceed no further” (Job 40:4, 5). God then continued to ask Job questions, this time about Himself, and some powerful creatures that then existed (Job 40, 41). At the conclusion, Job could only say, “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:3, 6). Job was not shaking his fist at God anymore. He realized his foolishness and arrogant self-righteousness, and the reality that he knew very little, compared to God’s knowledge.
Yes, man has had a long history of thinking he can challenge God and His ways, or complain about the way God has established things, and he will likely continue acting foolishly in the years to come. There were men in times past who went so far as to reject the knowledge of God and then declare themselves wise (Rom. 1:18-22). As many are doing today, that took them down a path of perversion and unrestrained ungodliness (Rom. 1:23-27).
In Job’s case, God knew Job was “a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8), and gave him the opportunity to repent. Job was wise enough to take that opportunity. In the case of the godless Gentiles, God also knew that they were full of wicked intent, and, eventually, “God gave them up to vile passions” and “gave them over to a debased mind” (Rom. 1:26, 28).
Instead of shaking our fists, we should instead bow before Him. — Steven Harper