A disclaimer is the fine print you see in a contract, the documentation which protects a manufacturer from lawsuits, and basically lets the contracting party off the hook when something goes wrong. So here’s the disclaimer today. No, I haven’t had my wife walk out on me, or bury my children on foreign soil. I haven’t been in an airplane that crashed or was hijacked by terrorists, and no, they haven’t pulled me from a wrecked car more dead than alive. Frankly, God has been far better to me than I deserve—a thousand times so; yet I have a strong opinion based on working with people. I’ve seen a trend so gradual and so pervasive in recent years that it seems to leave me standing in a small minority of people who tenaciously cling to some thoughts that are seldom voiced.
Here’s the bottom line. When things go wrong today—whether it is a marriage turns sour, or investments disintegrate, or a tragedy strikes, or the sink gets stopped up–God gets the blame for it. We cry out, “God why did you let this happen to me?” Or, “God where were you when I needed you?” We then ask, “What good is God, anyway?” Then we point the finger at Him, convinced that we have suffered as the result of His failure or negligence, never considering the possibility that we may have invested poorly, or abused a husband or wife, or put too many potato peels in the drain.
Forget the trend of the stock market, the world economy, or the horrible hideous reality of evil in our world. God must be held accountable. No, you can’t sue Him, but you place the blame squarely on His shoulders.
So what’s wrong with this attitude? After all, isn’t God there to make life comfortable for us, to make us feel good, to keep us healthy, and—yes, wealthy at the same time?
Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?” Does your work say, “He has no hands”? Isaiah 45:9
Enough of this nonsense. Where we have gone wrong is our focus and point of reference. We think that we stand on center stage and that God is there for our benefit, and often mark promises in our Bibles which are rich in hope for a better tomorrow. We seldom think of Him unless somebody needs to be held accountable for difficulty in the world.
We need to reverse the whole picture and focus on the Almighty, bowing before Him in humility and deep contrition. Frankly, we need to recapture something of His majesty and grandeur and to put our relationship to Him in perspective. He is Lord; we are His subjects. He is Almighty; we are very human. He is all-powerful; we are weak and needy. He is our Father; we are His children. We have no right to demand anything of Him.
The created cannot hold the Creator accountable for his failures any more than someone has the right to sue the mattress manufacturer when he falls out of bed and breaks his arm. God hears your outcries, but fortunately, as David wrote, “He remembers our frame, that we are dust.”
It’s time we recognized the power and ubiquitous nature of evil in the world and recognize that not only is there a sovereign God but an adversary whom the Bible calls the Devil, whose business it is to disrupt, to create chaos, and to thwart the work and will of God. But who blames him for the chaos and difficulties which confront us today?
Long ago Isaiah wrote, “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,” (Isaiah 45:9). Wise is the person who turns to God in times of difficulty rather than turning on God. Think about it.
Resource reading: Job 3:1-26