I find it quite remarkable that in a society that largely ignores God and where many would volubly express their doubts as to His existence, people are so quick to blame God for the bad things that happen to them.
Recently I read about the relative of a murder victim who wrote that she could never forgive God for taking away her sister. I have personally spoken to others who have expressed similar anger against God for the death of a close relative.
This is a very sensitive subject and in this context it is perhaps worth pointing out that I too have known bereavement through the loss of my father, a close aunt and a close uncle all taken by disease in the prime of life. I do not in any way underestimate the sense of loss and deep grief that the unexpected removal of a loved one represents. I would however like to explore the reaction that it is ‘God’s fault’.
The example of a murder victim perhaps illustrates one point very graphically: Surely in this case the person to blame is the murderer? That seems to go without saying and yet it illustrates that the cause of the loss arose from the wrongdoing of another.
Presumably the anger against God arises from His perceived failure to intervene in a situation to prevent the murderer acting as he did. Yet this opens up a whole new area of difficulty for us. If we are genuinely saying that we would want God to constantly step in every time that something bad was about to be done by someone to someone else (or by us to ourselves), then what we are actually saying is that we would like God to remove all free-will from society and run our lives for us! Where would we want Him to stop intervening – to prevent the drunk driver from maiming someone for life? To prevent me burning my hand on the oven door? To stop you stubbing your toe on the door threshold?
The Bible tells us that God has given us a free will to act as we like. He has given us rules for living that will help us to lead happier, healthier lives – but we can, and do, choose to break these every day. The Bible also tells us of a God who is outside of the time framework of our world. He sees the big picture – one where Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin will face the justice that their victims never saw them face.
In Romans chapter 5 v12, Paul explains the Bible doctrine of death and suffering, “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”. Death and disease came into this world and remain here because of sin. This does not mean that those who suffer a particular disease or are the victim of a particular crime have done so because of some particular sin, the Lord Jesus made that clear in John chapter 9 vs 1-3. It just means that sin is like a disease itself that has affected every man and woman in the world since Adam first sinned.
The good news of the gospel is that God has dealt with this principle of sin and that individually we can have our sin forgiven and be made right with God, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him”, Romans 5 vs8-9.
This doesn’t release us from the effects of sin immediately. Those who are ‘saved’ from sin still experience suffering and death. One day though the ‘last enemy’ will be destroyed, “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death”, 1 Corinthians 15 v26. Then, “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes”, Revelation 7 vs16-17.
I suppose that the remaining question is are you going to carry on blaming God or are you going to change sides and begin trusting Him?