Arguing and Reasoning with God?! Dilemma!

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
I quote from H.H. Pope Shenouda's book "Lord, How?- Contemplations on Psalm 3":

'He blames God... Lord how? How does all this come upon me? How does this happen, in your existance? ... Many troubled David the prophet, but he did not blame them; he blamed God himself...'

Again David 'speaks in Psalm 10 blaming God, "Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do you hide  in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1) Perhaps if we say these words to one of our friends, he will not bear them..! But God accepts such words... and David his servant dared to say, "O Lord, how?"

Similarily, Jeremiah the prophet reproaches God "Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?" (Jeremiah 12:1).
'God, the unbounded and incomprehensible opens His heart and argues with his children when they ask, "why?" Another example, a person so frank in blaming God is Job the Just. He blames the Lord with amazing boldness and says the same word, "Why?" as in (Job 7:11,12,16) "...I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am i a sea, or a whale, that Thou settest a watch over me?", "Let me alone". "How long wilt Thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till i swallow down my spittle?" (Job 7:19).

'Do you think God gets angry at such reproach? Nay.. our good God does not get annoyed with Job's reproach. Nor does he consider arguing with Him hurting for His honour. Nay, God likes us to talk and argue with Him. He becomes glad and happy for this because reproach shows love and intimacy. God calls for such argument saying, "Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Ish 1:18)'

Now in Job 40:1,2 "Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said: “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.” I think this shows that how can we, the worthless dust, rebuke the Almighty God?
Furthermore in Job 40:8-10 the Lord says, “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?" I take this as God telling us that how can we argue with the righteous and blameless judge!?

I also recall the following from another thread about Saint Antony the GREAT....

When Abba Anthony thought about the depth of the judgments of God, he asked, "Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?" He heard a voice answering him, "Anthony, keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgment of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.'

DILEMMA! Are we, the weak and feeble beings, able to argue and reason with the omnipotent God? Am sure it is probably a misunderstanding on my behalf, but what does every1 think. God forgive me but it sounds contradictory.


  • we can reason with God, He won't get offended, but we just need to remember we are wrong and God is right!
    it's not good to be too much like david, he committed adultery and got an innocent man killed!
    i complain a lot to God, but then i repent and confess, coz actually He loves the world far more than we could ever do, and He knows what's best for us.
  • [quote author=mabsoota link=topic=10019.msg122526#msg122526 date=1290378955]
    it's not good to be too much like david, he committed adultery and got an innocent man killed!

    In Acts 13:22  "He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will."

    To me seems like we should try to be much like David after all he had a heart after GOD'S OWN HEART. Sure he had his flaws, after all he is still human. and i think David fell because he became lazy. It seems to me that David (in psalm 10) rebuked and argued with God. Again Jeremiah 12:1. But once you read Job 40: 1,2,8-10 it seems soo confusing.
  • Here is H.G BIshop Youssef's reply

    'God's benevolence and incomprehensible humility is clearly demonstrated in the passages mentioned from Psalm 3; Psalm 10; Job 7; Job 40; & Jeremiah 12. God's relationship with man has always been one of interaction and dialogue. He knows man's sorrows, sighs, and burdens, and allows him to express himself to Him, confident in His love, and assured that through Him, he will overcome all his troubles. More than just in these passages, but throughout the Holy Scriptures, we see how God interacts and even allows man to negotiate with Him. Nonetheless, when man needs chastisement, there is no room for compromise regarding what is holy. Thus, H. H. Pope Shenouda III uses poetry and prose to illustrate the afflictions of the heart when it is honestly and safely poured out before the Lord, and then the realization, that the hardship at hand too shall pass. It is the Lord who upholds and carries our crosses when we humble ourselves before Him. What may appear as argumentative is really a depiction of the wearied soul who has reached the point of complaint and lacks of understanding. Yet, the faithful heart turns in frustration to God, finally admitting that He is the solution, the real answer, and we are the problem. Each of the passages you mention, bring joy and hope to the sad complainer. No matter how heavy any of the psalms may begin, each of the them ends on a high note of spiritual conquest, and Alleluia!.' 
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