Why We Really Should ‘Blame’ God for the Mess We Are In

Nov 11, 2021 by David Fowler

Why We Really Should ‘Blame’ God for the Mess We Are In
When you add the news this week that you and I have taken a 6.2% pay cut due to inflation to the ongoing news that supply chains problems are making normal consumer purchases more difficult, labor shortages abound, people are being fired for not getting a COVID jab, COVID variants are developing for which we have no cure, our borders are non-existent, and government seems incapable of doing anything about any of it, what more proof could you want that God is faithful to His promises?
That sounds awful to say — like I’m blaming God for all these ills, but I could not say it if it were not consistent with the repeated patterns of God’s dealings with His people and with nations and with statements found throughout the Bible—God is God and keeps His word, all of it. 
Simply put, God has said He will not let His people look to anything other than Him for their salvation from anything (which includes more than Hell, Acts 2:40). He will be faithful to His promise, for the sake of their future glory (2 Corinthians 4:17, Hebrews 2:10), to discipline and turn them from idols (1 Thessalonians 1:9). I think our constant turning to civil government to “fix” things has become a form of idolatry. 
I cannot help but think that for many, at the heart of the mantra “Make America Great Again” is this subtle form of idolatry. Many need America to be great again because it, not God, is what provides the comforts and material pleasures to which they have grown accustomed, when a Christian would say that only God is truly great and that He needs to be “made” great again in the eyes of our nation, even if at the expense of our present comfort and collection of stuff.

Make America Great Again? Maybe later.

God will see to it that His greatness and glory is made known. Consider the general principle found in Habakkuk 2: 13-14:
Behold, is it not of the LORD [i] of hosts that the peoples labor to feed the fire, and nations weary themselves in vain? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
In other words, if our personal labor is simply for the sake even of necessities and the efforts of our nation are not directed toward filling the earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (which knowledge is supposed to be true of Christians, 2 Corinthians 4:6, and their purpose, 2 Corinthians 10:5), then we are wearing ourselves in vain. 
“Even necessities?” you ask. Do I sound extreme? Then read these verses from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:31-33, about the relative priority of the Kingdom of God and necessities:
Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For all these things the Gentile seek. For your heavenly Fathers know that you need these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Food and clothing. Jesus really put God’s reputation on the line with that one!
I can’t help but think that the wearisome sense of many that all our labors—even of Christians to “do something” for God[ii]—are coming up short (in vain) arises from the fact that God is superintending all things in such a way that His people might consider Him foremost for a change and what is on His agenda instead of theirs (see 2 Corinthians 4:15 and its reference to “all things”), and His ways over the ways of the world.

Want An Historical Example for Proof?

The writer of First Kings, looking back on history, tells God’s people to consider what God did with Ahab, King of Israel. The god Ahab worshipped was Baal. Ahab and most of Israel thought Baal controlled nature and the rains needed for harvest (think in terms of food and economy).
So, God sent to him Elijah, who knew that God had graciously covenanted with His people to bring His judgment on them in order to turn them from the worship of idols, and one of those promises was to withhold the rains and destroy their crops. That’s what Elijah banked on—that all the promises of God were true—when he appeared out of nowhere to tell King Ahab that there would be “neither dew nor rain these years, except by my words” (1 Kings 17:1).  
God was going to show His people and their leaders who was God, and He eventually did when He called Elijah to confront the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). When that confrontation was over, “the people fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.’” (1 Kings 18:39)
Seems to me that all we moderns have done differently from Ahab and Israel is substitute “science” and “government” for Baal to control nature (COVID and its variants) and provide what we need for our well-being, as if not being physically sick and having stuff is all there is to the well-being of those made in the image of God. What folly!

Was God Unjust?

Absolutely not. He warned His people at the height of their apparent prosperity with these chilling words, just a few of which I’ll quote for the sense of the whole of it (Amos 4:6, 7, 8 and 10, emphasis added):
“Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities. And lack of bread in all your places; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the LORD.
“I also withheld rain from you, when there were still still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered.  So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the LORD.
 “I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt; your young men I killed with a sword, along with your captive horses; I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the LORD.
Therefore, thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
The parallels to our day in America should be obvious to those with spiritual eyes—God is trying to get the attention of His people and to bear witness of His greatness to all the rest who are watching (see Romans 9:17 regarding the purpose of Pharoah’s destruction).
As the Apostle Paul said on Mars Hill to the philosophers of his day, after teasing them with what they could not deny they knew—that there is a creator God, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). No “softly and tenderly Jesus is calling” here.
That process of personal repentance I began more earnestly Saturday after I heard these words from a sermon by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson to his congregation in Scotland several years ago. Listen to the 2½ minute clip if you dare.
It really is a good God who would call us to repentance instead of destroying us immediately for our rebellion against, distrust of, and ingratitude toward the God who created and sustains our very being.
[i] The word here and throughout where all capitals are used is the proper name of God and means the existing One, the eternal infinite God who is creator of all things and for whose glory all things exist. Compare Revelation 4:11.

[ii] I have come to understand that God doesn’t need anything from anybody, even from His people, because God’s contentment, pleasure, sufficiency, etc. is dependent on nothing outside of His own Triune Being (Psalm 50:12; Acts 17:25). 

David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. 

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