A while back a famous Rabbi wrote a book about when bad things happen to “good” people. He wrote it in response to his son’s illness and death. He concluded that God couldn’t be both good and all powerful… because if He were all powerful and didn’t stop suffering, He couldn’t be all good. If he were were good and couldn’t stop suffering… He couldn’t be all powerful.
“Don’t look at your circumstances to make sense of God… look to God to make sense of your circumstances.”
The problem most people make is putting God in the doc when life is difficult rather than understanding life by looking to God. Last time I checked, His “foolishness” is greater than our highest wisdom.
Some say, “IF God loved me, He wouldn’t let my grandmother suffer with cancer.” Or, “If God loved me, He wouldn’t let my boss treat me this way.” Or, “IF God were loving, He wouldn’t have… (Insert whatever you want).” The problem with thoughts like those is that they ignore the overwhelming witness of Scripture! Consider Romans 9:20-21…
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?
How dare any of us question God… what He does… or why He does it! If God wants to bless someone, that’s His right. If He doesn’t, guess what… that’s His right too. Not only that… He doesn’t have to answer to any human being for what He does. The fact that He is God makes all His actions right, perfect, and loving! Consider Job 9:3-4, 12…
If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times. 4 He is wise in heart and mighty in strength — who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?— 12 Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
If anyone ever had a case to make with God about how he was treated, Job is that person. Yet he realized the foolishness of the thought. Still… he did question God… until one day God showed up and fired back (Suggestion: After reading below, do you really want God to answer your questions?). This is found beginning in Job 38:1…
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? 34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? 35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
40:6 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 7 “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 8 Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? 9 Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his? 10 “Adorn yourself with majesty and dignity; clothe yourself with glory and splendor. 11 Pour out the overflowings of your anger, and look on everyone who is proud and abase him. 12 Look on everyone who is proud and bring him low and tread down the wicked where they stand. 13 Hide them all in the dust together; bind their faces in the world below. 14 Then will I also acknowledge to you that your own right hand can save you.
Job 42:1 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Personally… I think the last thoughts of Job are a good place for us to live.