Is it a sin to doubt God’s goodness? I don’t think it is unless we give up and quit trying to understand who God is. I think all Christians wrestle with doubt at some point in their lives.
I had two kinds of serious doubts about God.
- Why does he allow physical and mental pain?
- Why did he kill all those people in the Old Testament?
I saw one of my daughters endure terrible physical pain. I thought of all the other people in the world, now and in the past who have suffered like that. This was the first time I ever doubted God’s goodness.
I quit praying because I was angry with God. I didn’t realize he was the one I should have gone to immediately with my doubt. But I did buy many books on why God allows pain, the best ones were written by Philip Yancey. He explains why our bodies must have pain in this world because if our bodies never felt pain we would become deformed and most likely die much earlier than we should.
He studied lepers. Lepers do not feel pain and that is the reason they lose fingers, toes, feet, hands etc. If they are holding something too tight, they injure their hands. If they touch something too hot, they don’t realize it and burn themselves. If their hip hurts, they don’t adjust their walking. So I accepted the fact of physical pain.
Why did God kill all those people in the Old Testament?
Through study, I learned those people were very evil. They raped, killed, enslaved, stole, made war, and sacrificed their children to idols. They sacrificed their babies and children by laying them in the arms of their idol, Baal. He was a large metal idol which had a furnace inside. His arms were stretched out and they would place the children there. They would play drums as the child died to drown out the screams of their mothers. There were other gods who were worshiped in this way, Molech was one. The most common explanations I could find on those people’s worship practices said, “They did things so terrible I will not write them down.”
So, I realized those people deserved to die. God saved their neighbors from the evil they did. Have you ever watched a movie and hated the bad-guy so much you wanted him dead? I have. Many times. I think if Sodom was a city that was near our city, we would want God to take care of them. In fact, that is what God said to Abraham. He said, “I have heard the cry against Sodom and have come down to see if it is true.” Well, God knew it was true, but he does things so we will see that he cares about our cries to him.
Okay, this post went in a direction I didn’t intend at first, but I will post it anyway since these words are what came into my mind right now. I was going to write about some things I read about doubt in a book called, “God’s Best for My Life.” I will do that in my next post.
I don’t think I sinned by doubting. I did sin by not talking with God about my thoughts and feelings, but he sent me to books that would help me. He is wonderfully patient with us.