by Curt Martin, HCA Secondary Bible Teacher
“I know that God has wronged me and has drawn His net around me. He has blocked my way to deprive me of justice…If only I could go to His dwelling place, I would state my case before Him.” – Job
“Why, oh God, have you rejected me? You have completely engulfed me; darkness is now my only friend.” – The Psalmist
“If there is a God, He must be the devil.” – Albert Camus, philosopher
During my seminary years, my professors invited me to spend seemingly endless hours pouring over the many attributes of God, as if He were a frog in anatomy class. God’s omniscience, omnipotence, wrath, holiness, event His aseity (yeah, that’s a real thing). But it was only the proverbial school of hard knocks that introduced me to the one never-discussed attribute of deity: omni-vexing. I’ll say it plainly: sometimes God’s ways just bug me. So, in Job-ian fashion, allow me to give voice to my frustrations.
- God’s penchant for theological ambiguity.
For about as long as Christians have been around, they have been debating the relationship between divine sovereignty and human free will. You know, a couple of paragraphs sandwiched in the Levitical reg’s could have saved us all some grief here, Lord!
Or how about this cryptic little nugget from Matthew’s resurrection account: “The tombs also were open and many bodies of saints who had died were raised. And they came out of their tombs and entered the city.” What…? What just happened here? Did these people go get jobs and resume their lives? WE don’t know because scripture doesn’t elaborate. (There actually is fascinating theology behind this event, but it requires diligent research to understand and I prefer to be spoon-fed my doctrine.)
- The patience of God.
“Patience is a virtue,” we are told and so it is…but not always. God, in my experience, is far too casual about a good many things. Like when I’m enduring suffering. And yes, it’s character-building and all, but frankly, I don’t care about that just then. I want it to stop, dang it! I want it over with yesterday. I’ve tried to explain this to Him rationally many times, but am always met with the same unbending stubbornness on His part. He gets all caught up on the whole character thing, and doesn’t give proper weight to my comfort! It’s galling, really.
He’s also far too patient with certain people. Many within my range of acquaintance could do with a good smiting, by my lights. I’ve offered to provide Him with a list. And yet, in case after irksome case, they go their merry, unsmitten ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m forever grateful for His patience with my many failings and would be lost without His amazing grace toward me. But that’s different.
If you really put your mind to it, I’m confident you could add to my list, but I think my case is made. The verdict: God is indeed an annoying fellow and nowhere near as tidy and domesticated as our theological packages make out. I discussed this with a friend and she actually hinted that perhaps the deficiencies might be mine and not His. I must need some new friends. That one is kind of annoying.