you're reading...
Christian living, Life's Challenges

Parts of the Bible I Don’t Like

anguished soul.

(Photo credit: kelsey_lovefusionphoto)

Ever read something in the Bible and think, Ooh, I don’t like that. It just doesn’t seem right.

I’m guilty of it.

Every now and then I’ll run across a passage or an account or even a doctrine that rubs me the wrong way. It doesn’t seem fair (according to my sense of justice) or the timing is all off (according to my timetable) or the love seems to be missing (according to my understanding of love). It bothers me, even annoys me, that I feel that way, that I don’t understand WHY.

Psalm 44 is one of those passages. Oh, the first eight verses start out great. The writer praises God for his might and intervention in the history of his people, for his protection and faithfulness. The writer declares his faith in God and trust in Him.

But verse nine begins with one word that changes everything. BUT.

For the next eighteen verses the writer goes on and on asking God where’s He’s been, why He’s allowed such calamity to fall upon His people. The writer defends himself and the people and accuses God of leading them into destruction. He writes:

All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant. Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals; you covered us over with deep darkness.

He pleads innocent. He puts the responsibility for their presence in the valley squarely on God’s shoulders.

Then he questions God, points his finger right at the Lord of all and challenges Him:

Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.

Now, if you’re familiar with the psalms this is where we would normally see a turnaround, a change of heart, where the psalmist would begin to praise God for deivering the people or for his promise of hope and a better future. But it isn’t there. It just ends with doom and gloom.

I don’t like it . . . because it’s too much like real life. In fiction we’re challenged to conclude a story with as little loose ends as possible. End on a high note, we’re told, readers like happy endings where things are explained and at least most of the story elements work out for good.

But life isn’t always like that, is it? We don’t always get all the answers; we don’t always understand why God does what he does or allows what he allows. Sometimes (most of the time?) we just have to trust.

My favorite portion of psalm 44, the phrase I cling to and I’m sure the one the writer clung to with all his might is . . . You are my King and my God.

That’s it. When life is spinning out of control and we can’t focus on anything, when the pain is so bad we just want it all to end, when the darkness is so deep there is no light to guide us, when we’ve lost our foot hold we can still declare with confidence: You are my King and my God.

Question: Have you been there? Have you experienced that pain and confusion? Where did you turn?

(I invite you to visit my other blog too: www.mikedellosso.wordpress.com).

Advertisements

About michaelkingbooks

I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. Here I blog about faith, relationships, and genuine living.

Discussion

12 thoughts on “Parts of the Bible I Don’t Like

  1. Reblogged this on MIKE DELLOSSO.

    Posted by mikedellosso | July 16, 2012, 6:15 am
  2. Great post Mike.
    Here in metro Detroit, there is a campaign to spread the gospel being embraced by over 400 area churches called EACH – Everyone a Chance To Hear. Out of that movement came the 2 Word Story (www.2wordstory.com) which asks what word sums up your life before then after finding Christ. A question mark, then a period. Loved?Loved. Accepted?Accepted. and so on. The word I chose, which isn’t exactly a word, is Combobulated?Combobulated. From being in a state of chaos to being brought out of a state of chaos.
    Now it isn’t like all the calamity went away. In fact, I think it’s actually increased. But I can trust now that God is using these moments to strengthen me in some way. That when everything is out of control, I know that He is still in charge. And I trust that an answer will come to me, if not in this lifetime, then the next.
    So in those moments when I feel I’m drowning, I turn to God in a quick prayer asking for His help and asking Him to give me the wisdom to see what it is He is trying to have me learn.

    Posted by John Urban | July 16, 2012, 7:14 am
  3. Yes, I have been there when suffering from eating disorders and a bit of depression years ago, but He is our deliverer and He did bring me out of those situations. Now, I have am amazing testimony and I know that He can daily use me in spite of my insecurities and lacking. ..even as a stay at home mom!

    Posted by Brook | July 16, 2012, 8:18 am
  4. I was thinking about this same thing when I wrote a recent post about whether prayer works in the context of two miscarriages earlier in our marriage. I keep a big mental file called the ‘i don’t understand file’ and try not to let the things I don’t understand replace the things I know to be true. It’s not always easy and I allow myself plenty of room to be real with my emotions with God while disciplining myself to take Him at His word.
    http://harrisonwilder.com/2012/06/27/does-prayer-work/

    Posted by Harrison Wilder | July 16, 2012, 8:31 am
    • Harrison, you’ve touched on something very important here. We need to constantly remind ourselves of what we know to be true about God. Questions will always be there, doubts, uncertainties . . . but His truth is the one constant. Great thoughts. And thanks for the link.

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | July 16, 2012, 8:39 am
  5. Great insight this morning. I think one of my greatest faults is asking “Why Me”. When the pain is so bad and I am rolling in bed I really wish God would just take me sometimes. Then I think of all the people in the same place I am. Several family members dying from cancer. Best friends that have cancer. I am not alone. I think when I am at my lowest like that I am really open to satans temptations. He whispers in my ear. All you have to do is take several of your pain pills and it will be over. Thank goodnes people pray for me and God is always there. When I get to heaven I don’t even want to know why some people go through what they do. I don’t think I will even care. The small time we spend on this earth will not matter at all. Sometimes when I read that Jesus asked his father is there any way this cup can pass from me, he knew the answer. He just wasn’t quite there in his mind yet. Who knows I think some pretty weird stuff when I read the Bible. I’m just thankful his is there when I call out to him.

    Posted by Terri Conrad | July 16, 2012, 9:40 am
    • Terri, I’m sorry you struggle with such pain. In my physical therapy rounds I come across a lot of people dealing with daily pain and know it can really wear on you. Sounds like you have a good perspective on the temporary existence of suffering and the hope that awaits us. Thanks for reminding us of our glorious future!

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | July 16, 2012, 10:00 am
  6. If we say we haven’t been there, two things are going on, either we aren’t living or we’re lying. Humanness.
    It comes down to one thing for me; either I believe in Him or I don’t. If I don’t, then life is a mysterious dead end. If I do, then I also MUST trust in Him to DO what He says He will, BE what He says He is, and LOVE as he says He does.
    So when dark clouds umbrella us, when we wonder where He is or why He seems far from us, I just have to remind myself who I placed my faith in for this ride on the planet. And that ride may be bumpy, it may have dips and curves…but it’s MY ride, and He is at my controls. I wouldn’t want to live it any other way.

    Posted by donnalynndavis | July 16, 2012, 10:00 am
  7. As I read your post and your question I thought of Romans 8:28. Sometimes that helps when I hold onto it. Other times when I’m going through physical pain like Terri wrote of, I think of both the future I have with Jesus where there will be no more pain and of those who don’t accept Jesus as their personal Saviour and end up in eternal pain that far exceeds anything we have known or ever could know here and now. I see it as a loving reminder to reach out to others in love with God’s one and only plan for salvation from that unimaginably horrible eternity. The apostle Paul went through a lot of pain, suffering, and unjust circumstances. He stated that what we go through here is in light of eternity, momentary afflictions and not only will they be far out weighed by what God has prepared for us in glory, but that our afflictions now will bring us greater, weightier glory in eternity. God doesn’t always answer our prayers immediately, but how could we show Him the faith that pleases Him if He did? If this sounds jumbled it is the result of so many thoughts running through my mind one right after another.

    Posted by lightatheart | July 16, 2012, 5:13 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Twitter Updates

What readers are saying about A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS . . .

I have not been so deeply and utterly moved by a book in a very long time. A Thousand Sleepless Nights is a powerful and gripping novel that moved me greatly.
--Susan S.

A Thousand Sleeples Nights left me speechless as my heart and mind reconciled dealing with the trauma of cancer and a lifetime of regrets and finding God in the midst of it all. Sometimes a diagnosis of cancer can be God’s redemption.
--Jill J.

An emotionally steeped blessing of a story. One that pulled at my heart with one hand while holding a convicting mirror in the other.
--John U.

Great job. I hope and pray this book does for others what it did for me.
--Terri C.

I read A Thousand Sleepless Nights twice because it was that good. A very emotional story of a dysfunctional family, cancer, redemption and healing.
--Pat R.

I can really see how [this book] will be a blessing to many who have to face the devestation of cancer and loss.
--Tina H.

A Thousand Sleepless Nights will tug at your deepest emotions as it unfolds the evil of cancer and the power of relationships. The characters are endearing, real and relatable, as is the true battles they fight: illness, apathy, love, commitment and balancing life. King's novel strikes a vein, and sends hope to the heart of the matter--a fine read for anyone in need of healing.
--Donnalynn D.

This is a stirring novel that paints a great picture of cancer and its effects on not only those who have it, but their families and friends.
--Mark B.

A Thousand Sleepless Nights moved me so deeply I could not leave it alone until I’d read it completely. This bittersweet tale of illness--both physical and emotional--and the way lives are ultimately changed by its effects makes it a story for everyone, especially for those struggling to find forgiveness and healing.
--Claudette W.

A Thousand Sleepless Nights is a novel that touches you on a deep emotional level. It is a beautiful story about surviving, suffering, and what the true meaning of love is and how cancer, while devastating, can pull together a family torn apart by a past of neglect. A beautiful masterpiece!
--Joshua R.

Archives

July 2012
S M T W T F S
« Jun   Aug »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
%d bloggers like this: