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Someone who is angry with God

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Today we are finishing our mini-series called ‘What would Jesus say’
And the last question we are going to think about is:
‘What would Jesus say to someone who is angry with God?’
Anger is a fairly common condition.
It lurks at the door for most of us everyday in one way or another.
Just this week I was away on a Pastor’s conference with Co-Mission
and another Pastor asked me what I was preaching on on Sunday.
I explained we were doing this series and that the question this week was:
‘What would Jesus say to someone who is angry with God?’
And I shared what angle I thought I might take on the question.
He then told me his riduculous ideas of the angle he would take,
and there it was, anger, a real life example.
He’d not understood my thinking behind the talk and clearly thought his was better, the muppet,
and that made me well a little angry.
Obviously,
Anyway, I’ve gone with his ideas for the talk.
I just let it lie and wouldn’t have been childish enough to switch the sugar for salt in his coffee. Don’t worry, I really didn’t even if it did cross my mind!
Anger is one, thing,
But what makes us angry at God?
Well it might be all manner of things.
But i think they basically have to all boil down
to an exasperated comment that echos something like:
“Why, God, have you let this happen to me?”

1 - Why has God abandoned us?

Why have you abandoned me?
Why have you abandoned me?
Perhaps you or a loved one has or is going through a difficult illness.
Perhaps you are in or have been in an abusive relationship?
Perhaps you struggle with debt,
Perhaps you can’t cope with your children?
Perhaps you can’t have children,
or struggle with being single?
“Why, God, have you let this happen to me?”
Where are you?
It seems like a good question as well.
It’s hard to think why God would allow such pain.
Why would God allow someone to marry an abusive man?
Why would God allow your career to go down the drain?
Why would God make life just too hard to cope with that you struggle with mental health?
“Why, God, have you let this happen to me?”
Even the bible doesn’t shy away from people being angry at God.
He then told me his ridiculous ideas of the angle he would take, and there it was, anger, a real life example. He’d not understood my thinking behind the talk and clearly thought his was better, and that made me well a little angry.
He then told me his ridiculous ideas of the angle he would take, and there it was, anger, a real life example. He’d not understood my thinking behind the talk and clearly thought his was better, and that made me well a little angry.
In fact it is full of accounts of people
and families and
religious leaders
and and whole nations being angry at God
becasue life was not quite what they wanted.
Even the bible doesn’t shy away from people being anrgy at God.
But What I want us to do today is to consider that actually, the fact that there is sickness, dissatisfaction and suffering in the world is actually a very st
But
Let’s take Adam and Eve for example,
who we read about in our reading from today.
have a look at 16

16 To the woman he said,

“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;

with pain you will give birth to children.

Genesis 3:16 NIV - Anglicised
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
gen 3 16
That’s got to be annoying hasn’t it?
Why would God introduce such a thing?
I can only imagine the billions of times women throughout all time and all accross the world have cried out during labour..
“Why, God, have you make it this hard!?”
And what about Adam,
Genesis 3:17b NIV - Anglicised
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

“Cursed is the ground because of you;

through painful toil you will eat of it

all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow

you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

and to dust you will return.”

One minute they are in the garden of paradise, the garden of Eden, food a plenty.
The next, he will need to toil and work and fight the earth to produce food to eat.
Nothing has changed today has it,
no job is easy and joyful (even if at times it is rewarding).
It’s hard work, stressful, requires effort and pain and sacrifice.
Why would God introduce such hard work and strain for Adam and the rest of humanity.
“Why, God, have you abandoned us, it should be so easy if you are any sort of good God!?”

“Cursed is the ground because of you;

through painful toil you will eat of it

all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow

you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

and to dust you will return.”

Now I’m not sure whether Adam and Eve were angry with God or not.
But the reason we’re considering them is becasue this is were it all started.
This is were God allowed hard work and pain to enter the world.
This is were the beginning of angre towards God began.
So as we ask
“Why, God, have you abandoned us?”
We need to first ask,

2 - Why did God abandon Adam and Eve?

Why did God introduce pain and difficulty to Adam and Eve?
The bible is also
Well, Most of us will know the story well.
God created the universe and the crowning glory of His creation was mankind.
Man and Woman, created in the image of God himself.
Bible aknowledges
Unlike anything else in this amazing creation.
And they were cared for by God himself in the Garden of Eden, paradise.
An existence so joyful and free,
that we can’t fully imagine how wonderful it must have been.
It’s a picture of what the new earth and new heaven will be like.
All of God’s love and glory on display and available at all times.
There was absolutely nothing to be angry about.
God is good.
So what happened, well we probably know.
The had a paradise of freedom
but there was just 1 single request made of them by God.
Don’t eat the fruit from the tree in the middle.
The Life Explored Course,
which I would highly recoomend to you, if you’d like to find our more about the Christian faith.
put’s it really well.
They say that Adam and Eve had a ‘paradise full of ‘yes’s and a single tree of no'
And what did they do?
They chose the single tree of no over the paradise of yes’s.
Genesis 3:6 NIV - Anglicised
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
It seems crazy doesn’t it.
Why would they jeopardized the paradise and relationship with God
calls is) but they had a single tree of ‘no’
as their loving protector and provider,
for a single piece of fruit -
when there were so many trees of yes!!
Of course we have questions about the devil who tempted Adam and Eve
in the form of a talking snake,
that is weird and raises questions.
But the key issue here is why did they do it?
Why did they eat the fruit?
Well perhaps we already know from our own lives.
I wonder how long it takes us to want or do the wrong thing,
even when there is no real need?
We drive above the speed limit,
we feel bitterness towards another person out of jealously,
we spend our employer’s time on facebook rather than work.
I could go on.
No need to break the rules, other than a desire to satisfy ourselves - to be in charge.
But perhaps closer to Adam and Eve’s situation
is that unless we are actively following Jesus as Christians,
we too are not seeking to live for God,
We are eating from the tree, doing life our way.
in relationship with him, then we are actually rejecting his love in all our decisions.
in relationship with him, then we are actually rejecting his love in all our decisions.
If you’re not a Christian,
who believes in and follows Jesus,
and you are angry at God,
have you ever considered that you are not any different to Adam and Eve.
God created them, he created you.
He desires a loving relationship with them,
but they chose to do their own thing,
He desires to have a loving relationship with you,
but if you don’t follow Jesus, then you have also chosen to do your own thing.
Adam and Eve rejected God’s rule and love.
If we don’t follow Jesus, which is how God wants us to know him,
then we too have rejected him.
And now perhaps the pain in our life makes more sense.
Can you imagine the horror our nation would express if the government decided todo nothing about the ‘nerve agent attack in Salisbury the other day.
Causing likely permanent damage to 2 people, possibly a 3rd, a police man,
and hospitalizing 65 others.
No, only a immoral and evil government would say it doesn’t matter, just forget it.
And in part, that is why God allowed pain and suffering into the world.
It is a reminder that God must do something about Adam and Eve’s rebelion against him.
We call that sin.
You see pain is not punishment as such, but more a consequnce.
God is so perfect that he cannot be in the presence of people who have sin in their lives.
He is not immoral, he must do what is right.
As a result of sin entering the world through mankind, suffering, pain and injustice also begins.
And yes, God allows it, for now.
But this is not the final consequence to our sin.
But this is not the final consequense to our sin.
In fact, this is, I want to suggest, a kindness of God to allow pain into the world.
For without it, non of us would ever look for God.
Imagine a world with no pain, suffering or illness. Would we turn to God?
Absolutely not.
Most people don’t as it is,
but we would be so content in our self-centeredness,
there would be no need for God at all.
But it is often in our pain and anger we turn to God and ask why?, but also ask for help.
And let me tell you why our pain should not lead us to anger,
but to belief in the God of the Bible.
Quite simply, there is no other way to explain pain and suffering other than how the bible does.
If there is a God but he does not explain that pain is his way of reminding us that we need him.
reminding us that we cannot live life without him.
Then why did God allow pain?
It surely then either means God is incompetent at creating, or evil by nature!
Either way, that’s not a God we want to know.
And we would be right to be angry at God.
But the Christian God of the bible gives a very logical and loving reason for the existence of pain in the world.
It was not God’s desire that we suffer,
but becasue mankind is inclined to live for themselves not God,
he allows it as a consequence that keeps bringing us back to him.
He hates an abusive relationship, he did not want sickness in the world.
But He does want us to know how serious sin is,
and he does want us to know we need his forgiveness.
And our final point will answer 2 questions that you might now have....
If pain is to bring us back to God, how is he going to fix this whole mess?
And what is our final consequence of sin, if pain is not it?

3 - Why did God abandon Jesus?

If any man in all of history had a right to be angry with God, it was Jesus.
The bible tells us he lived without any sin at all.
The only man to live in perfect loving obedience with God the Father.
And we know he was able to do that becasue we was the Son of God.
Born to a woman, by the Holy Spirit.
And yet he suffered like us.
He got hungry,
he got tiered,
his friends betrayed him.
And ultimately he was put to death on a cross.
You would expect Jesus to be angry with God,
perhaps even angry with himself for agreeing to leave the glory of Heaven,
and become a man down here in the dirt.
You would expect Jesus to cry out,
Why God, why have you abandoned me?
Well he did.
As he breathed his last breath on the cross as he died:
Have a look for yourselves:
Matthew 15:33–39 NIV - Anglicised
His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterwards the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.
Mark 15:33–39 NIV - Anglicised
At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
33-
mark 15 33-
Why have you forsaken me? Meaning, abandoned me?
Again it’s a great question.
Surely, Jesus, is the one man who God never had cause to abandon.
Maybe, Jesus wasn’t the son of God after all,
and as he died he cried this out, Why!?
“I thought you would stay with me.
I never rebelled like Adam.
I love you! Why have you abandoned me?”
Well, this cry was not one of anger,
like our cries towards our injustices are.
It was a cry of pain beyond compare,
becasue for a while,
God would turn his back on His son Jesus.
He would and did abandon him.
It was part of God’s plan to fix the problem that Adam created
and every human being since has continued.
You see, we deserve to be abandoned by God.
We have eaten the fruit,
lived for ourselves,
rejected the God of the universe in many ways.
And God is moral and good,
so he must separate himself from us,
Not just allow pain and suffering, but finally and fatally abandon us to our sin.
as he did Adam as he moved him out of paradise and life became painful and hard.
But,
under the shadow of that first tree is a hint at a promise for restoration for mankind.
Did you spot it.
Genesis 3:14–15 NIV - Anglicised
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
14-
The serpent that represent all sin and evil in this world is cursed.
And we see the fear between man and snakes to this day.
But it echoes something far more significant.
An offspring of Eve will crush the serpents head.
Jesus, the man will defeat the serpent,
he will crush his head,
Jesus will make love and restoration with God perfect again.
He will defeat sin that separates us from God.
but...
‘the serpent will strike his heal.’
A fatal bite from sin will kill one of Eve’s offspring.
Jesus will die.
He will pay the penalty of rebelion against God,
which can only be seperation from God.
Jesus, will be foresaken,
he will be abandoned,
sin defeated,
but at the cost Jesus’s blood.
My God, My God, why have you foresaken me?
Well Jesus knew the answer to that question,
becasue he planned this all with his Father long in advance.
Do you know the answer?

Why did God abandon Jesus?

So that God does not have to abandon you and me?
Our rebelion and sin,
begun by Adam,
paid for in the shadow of a different tree - the cross.
You see the basis for our anger at God is a deep sense that God has abandoned us.
But it couldn’t be further from the truth.
He will abandon all those who insist of ignoring his loving call.
But do not mistake the pain in this world as his abandonment.
Far from it!
The pain in the world reminds us that WE have abandoned God in our attitudes.
The pain reminds us that one day we will have to pay for rebelion,
our sin, with our life.
Unless,
we allow the pain in this world to remind us of the pain that Jesus faced as God abandoned him in his death.
An abandonment that was not required for Jesus,
but willingly taken by him, so that he may pay the price on our behalf.
If you are angry at God,
Jesus would say to you, ‘friend, you are not abandoned by God’
I have made sure of that.
That pain is not inflicted by God,
it is inflicted by a world that has rejected him.
But it is allowed by God so that we are reminded how much we need him.
How much the world let’s us down.
But God never will.
Jesus has been abandoned in your place.
Your anger, your pain, is to remind you that you need God.
To call you back to him.
To remind you that Jesus went through much greater pain than we will ever have to, all for us.
so that we will will never have to!
If you’re angry at God, then Jesus has already said on your behalf, so that you don’t have to:
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
All that is left is for you to say sorry to God for your rebelion, or if your a Christian, say sorry to God for your anger at him.
And then to thank him for Jesus, for crushing the head of sin and evil, through his death and resurrection from the cross.
Let’s pray
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