Raging Against the LORD
by Jacob Hudgins
“When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD”(Prov 19:3).
Proverbs is full of little verses like this that easily escape notice. It is startling because it describes a situation in which it is common to be angry against God. What can we learn here?
Who’s really at fault? “When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin” means that the trouble under consideration is his own fault. His folly—his bad decisions—his errant thinking has led him to this point. Yet there is a natural law that governs life on earth: “Whatever one sows, that will he also reap”(Gal 6:7). That law is enforced by God. It is part of the way the world works. So when I sow recklessness and folly and reap trouble, it is my fault. Is it God’s job to stop his natural law to excuse my bad choices?
The blame game can drive a wedge between us and God. “When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.” Instead of a healthy sense of responsibility for our actions, our search for someone else to blame can lead to trouble with God. Why didn’t God stop me from hurting those people? Why did God make my life so hard—when I have been unfaithful to my wife or wasteful with my money or reckless with my words? And so “his heart rages against the LORD” with all the anger that should be directed at himself. The solution is to be swift to acknowledge fault and weakness, remembering that such trouble is not God’s fault.
Any time we react to our life situations with rage against God, we are likely out of proper perspective. While the Bible shows us that God wants us to bring our emotions (even rage) to him, that does not mean they are justified. Often our troubles are our own fault, or simply the result of someone else’s evil actions against us.
Let’s put blame where it goes, and give honor to the God who deserves it!