Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, Thou forest of my God and King, Thou triumphs of His grace.
This is LeSaire Bradley Jr. welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. Savior, I come to Thee, on Thee I come, Thou art my home and me, Jesus my home. Thou o'er my refuge art, comfort Thou me. Heal Thou my aching heart, Thine would I be. Savior, I come to Thee, live me, I pray, Through Thy great love so free, Strength for each day. Thou knowest of my care, Jesus my King, Knowest the grief I bear, to Thee I cling. Savior, I come to Thee, be Thou my light, Upward my footsteps lead, Out of the night. Into Thou heavenly day, Bright with thy love, Lead me, O Lord, I pray, O Word of God.
Today we come to the final message in this lengthy series on the subject, anger at God. I would appreciate hearing from you and having your comments on the message. And if you'd like to help with the support, you can address your letter to the Baptist Bible Hour, Mach 17, 037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217.
And if you'd like to help, you can address your letter to the Baptist Bible Hour, Mach 17, 037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45117. Jesus, hail, whose glory brightens, All above and gives its worth. Glorified, the smile enlightens, Cheers and charms thy saints on earth, When we think of love like thine, Lord, we only love divine. Hallelujah, hallelujah, Lord, we only love divine. Savior, hasten thine appearing, Bring, O bring, the glorious day, When the awful sound of tearing, And the nurse shall pass away, And with them the golden hearts will sing, Glory, glory, glory to our King. Hallelujah, hallelujah, glory, glory to our King.
And then he talks about his own struggles in the matter. In chapter 3, verse 12, He hath bent his bow, He hath set me as a mark for the arrow, He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reigns, I was a derision to my people and their song all the day. He hath filled me with bitterness and made me drunken with wormwood, He hath broken my teeth with gravel stones, He hath covered me with ashes. Somebody said, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, wait a minute, that's not the God I know.
I wouldn't do that. This is the God of the Bible. This is the sovereign God, the creator of heaven and earth. God had sent judgment on his people because of their sin. Jeremiah was weeping because he saw the destruction that came and in his own soul he had terrible distress and anguish. And he says, I'm trying to pray and God doesn't hear me. And I said, verse 18, my strength and my hope is perished from the Lord. I'm chained in.
I can't get out. I cry and shout and He shuts out my prayer. But finally it says, this I recall to mind, verse 21, therefore have I hope it is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed because His compassion fails not. Verse 25, the Lord is good unto them that wait for Him and to the soul that seeketh Him. Verse 39, wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord. Now you won't find anybody with any more vivid expressions of anguish within, deep distress, great pain of heart. Yet does Jeremiah say, Lord you're to be questioned as to how you've dealt with us.
It's just not fair and I'm entitled to be angry. No. He says, let's search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord. Coming back to the Lord.
The Lord is still our help and our hope. Let's go to the book of Habakkuk, chapter 1. This account deals again with destruction that's coming upon God's own people. And it's coming because they have sinned, they have departed, they've disobeyed. Habakkuk chapter 1, the burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see, O Lord, how long shall I cry and thou wilt not hear?
Even cry out unto thee of violence and thou wilt not save. Lord, how long is it going to go on? I see destruction has already come. I see more destruction is coming. I know your word says that your people are going into captivity.
I'm troubled by it. Lord, how long? How long can I cry and thou wilt not hear? How is it that violence comes and thou does not save us from it? Why dost thou show me iniquity and cause me to behold grievance? For spoiling and violence are before me and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth, for the wicked doth compass about the righteous.
Therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. You ever get disturbed about the inequities in this world? Why is it that it seems that the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper? Why is it there's so much violence in the world? Why is it that wicked men seem so often to get by with their deeds and their schemes are fulfilled and God's people go through great adversity?
That was the very issue that troubled Habakkuk. He's unburdening his heart. He's letting the Lord know of his concern about the matter. Verse 12, Art thou not from everlasting? O Lord my God, mine holy one, we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity. Wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
Lord, I know thou art a holy God. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, yet look at the situation here. The wicked man devoureth the one that's more righteous than he and it seems, Lord, you don't take any note of it and you're not delivering us.
And I'm feeling the stress and burden and pain of the occasion. Now, this whole book could well occupy our attention for an entire discourse, but because of the lack of time, let's go to his ultimate conclusion. Let's see if Habakkuk, in these difficult days, allowed himself, in spite of the fact that he, in his emotional state, poured out his soul diligently before God. Let's see if he allowed himself to say, I'm justified to be angry at God. Verse 17, chapter 3, although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail and the field shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the foal and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Lord, even when judgment comes, even though it's of great distress to me to see our people being destroyed and the enemy prevailing over them, the fact remains that although the tree, the fig tree, shall not blossom and the fact that there shall be no flocks in the foal, yet I'm going to rejoice in thee, for thou art my salvation. Lord, I've got nowhere else to go, nowhere else to go. So, what do we see regarding this complaint? First of all, that our position is not that of the stoic, where we just grit our teeth and say, all right, I'm going to get through this somehow, my own determination, my own will, my own power, I can make it.
No, no. We come before God, we pour out our hearts before Him. We can express to the Lord, yes, my burden is heavy, I do have questions, I want to be surrendered, I want to be submissive, but I can't put it all together, it's a great puzzle to me, Lord, I can't see the good at the moment, but as I share this burden, as I cast it upon thee, I pray for thy help, I pray that thy will give me strength, that I may be able to live in a godly way and honor thy name in the midst of my trials. And if we find that anger has risen up within us and that we're blaming God, sometimes we have the tendency to blame God when our own sin is at the basis of it. We're suffering the consequences of our own disobedience and then want to blame God because the path isn't smooth. But there are times when God simply has sovereignly moved in our life, even when we've lived in an upright way to teach us and train us, and even then, though we express our burden, we must yet come back and be surrendered and submissive to Him. In Psalm 31 verse 22, the Psalmist here has expressed some of these concerns that we've read elsewhere, and then he says, For I said in my haste, I'm cut off from before thine eyes, nevertheless, thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
What's he doing? He's making an acknowledgement. He's saying, Lord, I was wrong.
I said all these things in my haste. I may have been angry, but I'm asking for forgiveness. I'm acknowledging it to the Lord. So, rather than doing what the world says, vent the anger, we need to repent of it.
Acknowledge that sinful anger is an offense to God and that we have no right or justification ever to be angry at God Himself and repent of it. And finally, we must do the right thing no matter what our circumstances may be. No matter how confused we are, we look at the things that we're confronting and we say, Lord, just none of this makes sense to me right now. I just do not see it.
I do not understand. My heart is deeply grieved. Lord, I don't know how I'm going to go on in life without this precious loved one. My companion for so many years. My whole life was tied up in my wife, my husband that I love so dearly. How can I go on without them? This child that I felt like was a gift from above and they've been taken away at such an early age. How can I bear the sorrow? How can I go on with some of the hurtful things that people have done to me?
I worked a long time and tried to fulfill my obligation to provide for those who depended upon me and I built up some assets and they've been wiped out. Lord, I don't understand all that. But what must be our direction? We must continue in spite of our confusion or in spite of our feelings to do the right thing. And I conclude with the classic example of Job. In some of these instances we have read of those that were suffering the judgments of God because of their sin. But here was a man that God himself described as being upright and he eschewed evil. Now no man is sinlessly perfect, but as far as men go, for God to say that Job was an upright man puts him in a pretty high category, wouldn't you say?
So according to the success advocates today, those who preach a religion of prosperity rather than Jesus Christ and him crucified, would say that any man living the life that Job lived ought to have a pretty smooth path. God's going to shield him and protect him from any major setbacks. So one day, the devil's having a conversation with God.
Now that may sound a little strange to you, but the reason I know that it is is because that's what the book says. And God brings up the subject of Job. Somebody will say, well, why did the Lord do that anyway? You know, if he had just talked about something else, all this never would have happened in Job's life. God is sovereign and God had a purpose of bringing up his servant Job.
He said, have you noticed him? And Satan was one of these health, wealth, and prosperity advocates. He had the idea that the only reason anybody would serve God is to get rich and to have all their troubles go away.
No wonder. No wonder Job is serving you. Look how you've prospered him. Look how wealthy he is. Look at all his flocks, herds.
Anybody would serve God for that. See, that's the devil's doctrine. That's his concept. God says, you touch him. You take everything he's got away from him. Don't touch his life. Don't touch his body, first said.
Let's see what he does. One after another, the messengers came. The flocks, the herds have been carried away. Your servants have been killed.
The children were all feasting in a house. A great wind came and blew down. They're dead.
How much can a man take? What was Job's initial reaction? Verse 21 of chapter 1. Naked came out of my mother's womb and naked shall I return to the Lord gave and the Lord is taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job's sin, naught nor charge God foolishly. Job, stand up and say, this just is not fair. Lord, look at my record. Look at the job I've been doing. I've been trying to serve thee.
Why should this happen to me? No, he bowed humbly. Now if that's all that we had about Job's experience, most of us would have to say, well I'm no Job. I wish I could handle things that way, but I can't. But Job was just a man and Job had his bad days. When you get to chapter 3, he had a day like maybe one of yours has been. After this, opened Job his mouth and cursed his day.
And Job spake and said, let the day perish wherein I was born and the night in which it was said, there is a man child can see. In other words, I don't even know why I'm living. You ever been there? I don't even know what I'm doing here. I don't even know why I'm alive.
Just don't understand it. Let that day be darkness. Let not God regard it from above. Neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness be the shadow of death stained. Let a cloud dwell upon it.
Let the blackness of the day terrified. On he goes, speaking in great stress and anguish because he doesn't understand. And chapter after chapter gives the conversation from these three friends that came to try to analyze his problem, sat for a week just looking at him. Didn't say anything.
And then finally when they opened their mouth it got worse. You know, occasionally I hear somebody say, well I'm a real good listener. If you ever need to talk to somebody, talk to me. I won't say anything.
I'll just listen. I want to tell you that's not a biblical approach to the problems of life. If somebody wants to be venting a lot of anger and putting out a lot of criticism and talk about other people and putting other people down and telling you how angry and vicious they are, and you sit there and listen to all that and you don't counsel them biblically, you haven't fulfilled your God given obligation. These men came first and just looked at him and then they started talking and they missed the whole point. They said, Joe, there must be some dark secret in your life that you're not confessing. All of this trouble couldn't happen to anybody unless they were a real terrible sinner. Now Joe, you know, why don't you just come on and confess? Well, Joe's searching his heart and he doesn't claim that he's sinlessly perfect but he certainly doesn't have any skeletons in the closet that need to be brought out and dealt with at the moment.
So the more they talk and the more he struggles, the more perplex he becomes. And according to many scholars, the book of Job was probably the first book of the Bible to be written. And so Job didn't have the scriptures to which he could turn and read what somebody else had ever done under like circumstances. See, we read in the book of James that Job is held up to us as an example of those that have great patience. When I say the name Job, what word immediately comes to your mind? Patience. Whether people are Bible readers or not, they hear that phrase, the patience of Job.
So we've got some references to go to and we've got Job's experience to draw from. Job didn't have that. He was perplexed and frustrated. But in spite of the fact he had unanswered questions, in spite of the fact he had great struggles, in spite of the fact he had his moments when he wondered why he was here and said, Let that day be cursed when they announced that I was born. Chapter 13 verse 15, Though he slay me, yet will I trust him. Even when the Lord told the devil he could go back and afflict his body and Job had boils from the top of his head to the sole of his feet and he was in misery. Can you imagine that?
I've heard people say that one boil can be almost unbearable, but having them all over your body in constant misery and agony? Job's wife says, I've had it whether you have or not. Why don't you give up, curse God and die? And Job's sitting out there on the ash heap having suffered all these losses and in total misery and he says, Though he slay me, yet will I trust him. That sound like anybody that's angry at God? Lord, I don't have all the answers.
I wish there was a book already written so I could find out some of the answers. Lord, it's a difficult time. It's a dark day. I'm struggling. I'm hurting.
I feel the pain of a loss. I'm not going about with a big eye panda smile saying, Hey, everything's fine. Everything's great, glorious.
Just couldn't be better. I'm down, Lord. I'm down almost out. But though you slay me, I'll still trust you. Because I know that even after the skin worms destroy this body, yet in the flesh shall I see God. And he spoke even of the resurrection. And in chapter 42 and verse 5, he says this, I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee. Lord, I thought I knew a lot about you when all this started, but I just had a little glimpse of you.
Now I'd heard about you in the past. Now mine eye seeth thee. I see thy greatness. I see thy glory. Did he say, Now mine eye seeth thee? And I want to tell you, I think it's been very unfair for me to go through all this.
No. He said, Now I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes. When you get the right view of God, you see that you have no grounds for complaint, no reason to be angry with God. You bow before him in awesome worship and stand in amazement at his sovereign grace. Lord, how gracious thou'st been to bless me even to be alive. How gracious thou'st been to have forgiven my sin. How gracious to take me, a hell-bound sinner. Redeem me, wash me, cleanse me. Adopt me into your family.
Include me in the inheritance that someday my hope is to be with you and like you forever. Oh, may we praise God for his marvelous love for his amazing grace and deal appropriately with any of the resentments with which we may struggle in our own hearts. I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice and it told my love to me. But I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to thee. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord to the cross where thou hast died. Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord to thy precious bleeding side.
Oh, the beauty light of a single love that before thy throne I spent. When I kneel in prayer and with thee my God, I love you that trend with friend. Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord to the cross where thou hast died. Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord to thy precious bleeding side.
There are depths of love that I cannot know till I cross the narrow sea. There are heights of joy that I may not reach till I rest in peace with thee. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord to the cross where thou hast died. Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord to thy precious bleeding side. Thank you for listening today and just a reminder that we're able to stay on the air because of the support from our listeners. If you would like to help, you can go to our website at BaptistBibleHour.org and make a donation there. Till next time, this is O'Sara Bradley Jr. bidding you goodbye and may God bless you. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, praising my Savior, praising my Savior all the day long.
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