Is God mad at us?
It’s an understandable reaction to what’s happening in our world during this 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, and I’ve heard it asked.
My knee-jerk reaction in response could be: “Doesn’t he have the right?” I mean, after all, if God is holy, which he is, doesn’t he have the right to be mad at most of the world’s population today, who seem very intent on ignoring him or, at the least, refusing to follow his Word? I could easily connect this to the days of the judges in the Bible, when everyone did what was right in their own eyes.
God may just be letting us live with the consequences of our own choices.
However, I am choosing to see how Jesus handled a similar question. As he walked this earth, there was a lot of talk about the signs of the times. Jesus, came, after all, preaching the nearness of the Kingdom of Heaven. His preaching was an aim to get the masses to turn toward God, so their hearts would be ready to accept his sacrifice and salvation on their behalf.
That kind of heart prep takes humility, and it’s hard to do when you think you’re better than the real sinners.
That’s what happened in the conversation Jesus was having with some folks, which was recorded in Luke, chapter 13. I’m going to give you the verses I’m referring to here:
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”*
You see, these people were thinking that bad things happen only to really bad people. Jesus told them that those Galileans or people in Siloam didn’t suffer because they were worse sinners than others or the Jews he was addressing.
No, but they did need to realize one thing — they would perish too, if they didn’t repent.
What would be the sign of such repentance? It’s found in that short little parable he shared — A life which bears fruit.
Bad things happen to everyone. Whether it’s a global pandemic, a death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or a car accident. Things happen — sometimes which are brought on by our own misdeeds, sometimes not. This is a reality of living in a fallen world.
So, the question is not, “Is God mad at me?” Rather, it should be “Have I repented and given my life to Christ? That’s the only way to avoid “perishing.”
We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but God so loved the world, he provided a way through his only Son, Jesus, that we might not perish, but have eternal life.
The trick is — I have to stop pointing the fingers at God and at others, and confess my own sin. It’s only in repentance and salvation through Christ that I avoid the wrath of God and experience his love for eternity.
What’s your answer to the question? Say it to Jesus.
Grace and Peace
*Luke 13:1-9 (NIV)