How Do We DO Anger At God? — Can Our Anger Be Wrong?

Published May 14, 2017 in 

Discussion Questions:

  • Broadly, what are some reasons people might have for being angry at God?
  • What are different scenarios in terms of who is “right” when someone is angry at someone else? (Ex. Both have good reason for their actions but someone feels slighted, the angry person is wrong, etc)
  • Which of these scenarios do you expect is most often the case when someone is angry at God?

Related Scripture:

  • Ruth 1:13b, 19-21
    • “No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”
    • “So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, ‘can this be Naomi?’
      ‘Don’t call me Naomi,’ she told them. ‘Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.'”
  • Exodus 34:15-16
    • “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.”
  • Joshua 23:12-13
    • “But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you.”
  • Ruth 1:1-7
    • “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. 
      Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
      When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.”

Discussion:

  • How can we reflect in the midst of our anger on whether we have played a part in it?
    • (Think in terms of consequences & disobedience)

More related Scripture:

  • Jonah 3:10-4:11
    • “When God saw what they [Ninevah] did and how they turned from their evil ways, He relented and did not bring on them the destruction He had threatened.
      But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, ‘Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.’
      But the Lord replied, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’
      Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, ‘It would be better for me to die than to live.’
      But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’
      ‘It is,’ he said. ‘And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.’
      But the Lord said, ‘You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left — and also many animals?'”

Further Discussion:

  • Consider God’s question in Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
  • How can we determine whether our anger is right?
  • How can we determine whether our anger is out of line?
    • What did Jonah do?
  • What should we do if we find we are not right in our anger?
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