Arguing with God
“I’m not smart enough. They’ll think I’m crazy if I do that. I don’t have the time. I don’t know how to do that.” The list of excuses goes on; however, the root of all of them is that I feel uncomfortable when God asks me to do certain things. I think of all the reasons why it won’t work. The what-if’s play through my mind like a long list of movie credits.
I’m not alone. Almost everyone I’ve talked with about obeying God’s voice struggles with this to some extent. We are in good company. As I read through the Old Testament, many of the main characters struggled with this as well. And they provide some powerful lessons on why it is not a good idea to argue with God when He asks us to do something.
Studying Moses reveals the downside of arguing. God speaks to Moses out of the burning bush telling him to return to Egypt and lead Israel to a new land. Moses argues that he cannot speak well so finally God tells him to let Aaron be his mouthpiece. Later, in the wilderness, Aaron creates problems by crafting a golden calf for the people to worship. Even Aaron’s sons disobey God’s law while administering the sacrifices in the temple and they die. If Moses hadn’t argued with God, Aaron most likely would not have been in that role to cause the problems in the first place.
Abraham provides another example in learning obedience to God. God tells Abraham (originally called Abram) to leave his family and take only his wife to a new land. Abraham does go where God called him, but he takes family with him. His nephew, Lot, comes along and later causes all sorts of trouble including arguments and an eventual split between herdsman and Lot’s falling into carnality in Sodom. God then sends angels to rescue him.
Later Abraham thinks God is taking too long fulfilling his promise to give him a son, so he takes matters into his own hands and has a son by Sarah’s handmaiden. Now he has a son that will be contentious with God’s intended heir born much later. The family will be in turmoil for generations.
In these examples, whether arguing with God, partially obeying Him, or “helping Him out” created more problems than simple obedience would ever have caused. Moses saw his weakness, not God’s strength and provision. Abraham felt insecure so surrounded himself with family he wasn’t supposed to invite. Abraham also tried to rush God’s plan and do things in his own timing. Anything other than complete obedience produced heartache God never intended.
As I have studied these Old Testament saints, I’ve been challenged to choose cheerful, immediate obedience to God’s commands. Doing otherwise may land me in trouble that could have been easily prevented. Trusting God is the best route.