I happen to come across this picture this week of an Iraq war protestor. It has to be one of the most absurd and telling images I have seen in a while. The man appears to be "thanking God" for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) which the terrorists in Iraq have used with successful frequency during the course of the war to kill hundreds of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. Additionally, the gentleman apparently also believes that God is our enemy. I wonder if it was the same God that he was thanking for the IEDs?
In the picture we see the lush green grass in which this man stands, the large tree that is behind him, the beautiful blue sky that gives him warmth; the strength in his body that allows him to be raising his hand. All provided by the same God whom he proclaims is his enemy. The irony of people like this is that God’s Bible (as is His custom) references their predictable absurdity long before He decided to breathe breath into their bodies. Take the case of God’s response to Job (a far more righteous man than this) when Job questioned God with far more righteous motivations than our present day Mr. IED: "Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge? (Job 37:14-16 NIV); Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said…"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone…(Job 38:1, 4-6 NIV) God goes on to ask: Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God's dominion over the earth? "Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, `Here we are'? (Job 38:33-35 NIV)
This man as extreme as he may appear to some is actually quite representative of large swaths of our society. They rail against God in sneering defiance, while at the same time enjoying the gifts, which God alone provides to them. You see them everyday…getting their tans from God’s sun, while they bask on God’s sand, enjoying the wondrous beauty of God’s sea waves. To them God may ask: "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, `This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'? (Job 38:8-11 NIV).
The absurdity of these kinds of people would be humorous if it wasn’t also so sad. What appalling lack of gratitude? Imagine how you would feel, if you invited some kids unto your property, allowed them use of your swimming pool, fixed and gave them a nice lunch, allowed them the run of your yard, only to have them sneer at you and call you their enemy. How absurd!
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