Who’s Really to Blame?

by Lester Young

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? I suppose we all have – some of us more than others (and that probably due to the fact that we also got blamed for the stuff we actually did do, thereby establishing  what’s fondly known as a ‘track record’ – but that’s another subject…). Remember how it made you feel? Ah, I can sense the self-righteousness swelling in you now. The first thing we want to do in those situations is defend ourselves and our ‘good’ name – to get our side of the story out and set the record straight, right?

Okay, then, let me ask you this: when a tragedy strikes, do you ask why God did it? Like when an earthquake or tsunami in one fell swoop snuffs out the lives of thousands, or when famine or pestilence imposes a lingering death upon an entire country, or when a hijacked jetliner slams into and brings down an occupied skyscraper, or when a traffic accident kills four people on the road, or when a three-day-old child ceases to live. You think God did those things? In your heart of hearts, do you question and ask Him why He made (or let) them happen? Do you openly and angrily – or even secretly – blame Him?

If you have, I think you should know that God feels exactly the same way you did when you were falsely accused. Falsely accused? Well, doesn’t God control all things? What you’re really asking is, “Isn’t God sovereign, all-powerful?” And, the answer to that question is, “Yes, of course He is!” But, the implication that He is actively controlling everybody and everything at all times is simply incorrect. Look, if God were controlling all people all the time, how could any of us sin? As James 1 says, “Let no man say when he’s tempted, ‘I am tempted [by or from] God:’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, [nor does] He tempt any man:  But every man is tempted [in this manner:] when he’s drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived [taken root in his heart], it brings forth [and produces sinful actions]…” (verses 13-15).

God gave Man a free will and the ability – along with the right – to make free choices. Certainly, He cautions us (and has always done so) about the consequences and implications of our choices, but we have that freedom nonetheless. The problem has come about because we as the race known as Humanity (Christian as well as non-Christian) have been notorious for making the wrong choices. We almost seem to have a knack for it.

Unfortunately, that ‘knack’ for disobedience has brought about a phenomenon in the earth known as ‘the curse.’ Basically speaking, it’s the consequence of not listening to God and His Wisdom (Proverbs 3:33), of disobeying Him and thus living disconnected from the power of His life and Presence. It was let loose in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve got a wild hair and decided to listen to Satan instead of God (Genesis 3:6, 17-19), and it’s described in even more painful detail in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. It encompasses all conditions, events and things that lead to destruction and/or death, whether quickly or slowly – in other words, all sickness, disease, lack of any kind, poverty, misfortune; they all fall under the category of “curse.” They’re all designed to bring about your destruction and eventual death, and they’re all not from God. Remember who is it, after all, that came solely for the express purpose of stealing, killing and destroying (John 10:10).

I’m sure you’re familiar with the story of Job. But take particular note of the fact that all that crap didn’t start happening to him (and even more directly, to his family) until after Satan went out from talking with the LORD (Job 1:12). And, in Job 2:7, it states very clearly that Satan smote Job with boils after going out to make the rounds again. (Just as a sidebar here: how could the devil get away with this activity? Why did God seemingly give him the authority to bring such calamity on a righteous man? [verses 1:8, 12, 2:6] In short, God didn’t, because it wouldn’t have been right. It was, in fact, Job himself who had already given Satan the power to do that stuff to him, because Job was operating in a constant state of fear over his family – and fear is simply faith going in a perverted or opposite direction, and it connects you to the devil just as faith connects you to God [see verses 1:5, 3:25; and Proverbs 10:24]. It’s having more faith in something’s ability to hurt you than in God’s ability and desire to deliver you. Notice, too, that the devil didn’t even see and recognize the position Job had given him, thus God telling him, “Look and see! He’s already in your power!” [Job 1:12, 2:6] Still think Satan’s all-knowing?)

So, God’s not bringing or causing all the terrible events we see around us. Those things are a clear function of the curse – in other words, ‘death’ in progress. Certainly, there is an angle of ‘judgment’ that’s at work in the earth, and God is definitely The Judge. But He’s certainly not the one bringing calamity all over the place. Jesus said, “I’ve come [so] that you’ll have life, and have it more abundantly!” (John 10:10) Why would God, then, Who is Love (1 John 4:8, 16), administer death? He wouldn’t. All He’ll do is just step back (after warning us) and let us make our own decisions – which will either by obedience bind us to God or separate us from Him because of our disobedience and ignorance. And, separation from God – the Source of all life and vitality – leaves basically only one thing: just as the absence of light results only in darkness, the absence of life leaves only death. By definition, there’s just nothing else that can be. But the decision of separation is always ours, not His.

We should therefore stop blaming our Father for the actions of a curse that’s running rampart because of our own (conscious or unconscious) decision-making. Satan, the father of lies, is also the father of disobedience, and he is the author of the curse (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2). He clandestinely steals, kills, destroys and then tiptoes away, gladly letting God take the blame for the mess. God doesn’t want His good Name besmirched for things He doesn’t do. And you know what? I don’t want His good Name besmirched that way, either. Besides, His Name, by inheritance, is our Name (Ephesians 3:15), so we should all be standing up to help Him set the record straight!

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6 Comments to “Who’s Really to Blame?”

  1. Yes, this world makes sure that God gets the blame for all the bad things happening around, making people blind to the fact that evil does exist in this world. Why, even in insurance clauses, calamities are termed “acts of God”. Thank you for shedding light on this matter, Lester. Dee

    • That’s absolutely right…I’d never even considered that insurance saying. How insidious it is. Thanks very much, Dee, for your input!

      Lester

  2. Thank you again for your teaching. I agree and Amen – and I feel that large scale disasters usually brings out the best in the Church of Christ – a desire to help – but…and I’m guilty of this – when we hit days like Job did – we forget that blaming God is no way out of our trouble. I struggle with that fact. What did I do to deserve that hurt or why God did you think that was necessary – We can become so self consumed at times. Thank you again for your posts.

    • We’ve all been guilty of it…it really stems from feeling sorry for ourselves. It can be difficult sometimes to remember that God is only good, and that He’s always for us and never against us. Keeping our eyes on His Word and not on our surrounding circumstances is the key. Thanks, as always, for your encouragement, Sandra.

      Lester

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