Have you ever been angry with God? It can be a confusing and frustrating experience—especially if you’re not sure why you’re feeling that way.
It’s natural to question Him during times of pain and suffering. But what about when things seem to be going well? Why do we feel anger toward God, then?
In this article, we’ll explore some of the Bible’s most famous characters who were angry with God. We’ll see what drove them to anger, and we’ll learn how to find hope and healing despite our anger.
Moses and His Anger Towards God
Moses was a great man of God, but even he sometimes got angry with God. The most famous instance is when Moses struck the Rock instead of speaking to it, as God had commanded (Numbers 20:11). This resulted in God not allowing Moses to enter the Promised Land, something Moses had looked forward to for his entire life.
Moses’ anger also showed itself in his interactions with the Israelites. Moses was frequently frustrated with the people he was leading and often lost his temper with them. This is understandable, considering how difficult it must have been to lead such a large and unruly group of people. However, it still showed that Moses could get angry with God, even though he was ultimately a faithful servant.
David’s Fury Over the Death of Absalom
The death of Absalom was one of the most tragic events in David’s life. David was filled with grief and fury when he heard that his son had been killed. He cursed the man who killed Absalom and ordered him to be put to death. David’s rage was so great that he refused to speak to anyone for days.
This event was a turning point in David’s life. He became more withdrawn and paranoid after Absalom’s death. He was no longer the man who had once led Israel to victory. David’s rage showed that even the great men of the Bible are not perfect. They are human like the rest of us and can make mistakes.
Job and His Complaints About God
Job is another example of a Bible character angry with God. He was a righteous man who suffered great losses and was angry and bitter about how God allowed it to happen. The book of Job shows his emotion as he asked God why he was being afflicted so harshly and why God wasn’t defending him.
Job often questioned why God had given him a life of suffering and pain, even though Job had done nothing wrong to deserve it. He bemoaned how his faith in God’s fairness had been betrayed and couldn’t understand why he was subjected to all this suffering. In the end, he questioned the very existence of good people in the world when they are subjected to such hardship from the Father.
Job believed that if there was a God out there, He should NOT allow such things to happen to good people like himself. His anger towards God is evident throughout the book – even when his friends said that this must have happened for a reason, Job could not find any consolation in their words as his situation did not seem to change for the better no matter what anyone said or did.
Jonah’s Resentment for Being Called by God
At some point, everyone has felt slighted or wronged by a higher power. Bible characters are no different. Such is the case with Jonah, who was called by God to prophesy to the Ninevites and very much resented it.
Jonah ran away from God’s call by booking a boat in the opposite direction—a ship towards Tarshish. His resentment of God’s orders could be seen as an attempt to control his destiny, even after being called back from those intentions through a miraculous intervention from God in the form of a great storm.
Afterward, Jonah continued to express his anger for being chosen for this mission that he so fully rejected, sometimes out of fear and other times out of misunderstanding or desperation, despite his sound knowledge of God’s power and authority in his life.
Elijah’s Disillusionment With False Prophets
It can be easy to get disillusioned with God when the things we have faith in don’t come to pass. Such was the case with Elijah, who was surrounded by false prophets leading the people astray in his time.
Elijah launched into a rage against God when he felt his efforts had gone to waste and the false prophets had won in the end. He was angry and disappointed that his work, ordained by God, had been in vain.
Elijah’s story teaches us an important lesson: When we become discouraged and angry with God, we must take a step back and trust His sovereignty. Even if our efforts don’t seem to “make a difference,” we must remember that everything ultimately works according to His plan.
The Psalms and Laments of Anguish and Grief
There are numerous examples of people who were angry with God in the Bible, but none more striking than the Psalms and Laments of anguish and grief. The Psalms are a collection of 150 poems, many of which include expressions of intense pain and suffering. The Psalmist often vents his frustration to God, questioning His justice and power.
The Laments, or “Lamentations,” are found mainly in the Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament. They express deep sorrow over losses, sufferings, or injustices experienced by an individual or the nation. These laments also express anguish and complaint against those in authority.
These ancient Hebrew cries of despair invite us to identify with similar feelings that we have today—our sense of anger at God for injustices suffered, injustices we have observed in others’ lives, and our pain at losses due to death or other circumstances. In these moments, we can recognize our shared humanity with these biblical characters who were angry with God.
How Expressions of Anger Can Serve as a Sign of Faith
Throughout the Bible, there are several characters who express their anger and frustration with God. Many of these characters used their angry words to express faith in God.
For example, in Psalm 44, the writer says, “we are brought down to nothing and have become like a sparrow alone on the house top” (Psalm 44:9). While this may sound angry and resentful, it is an expression of faith in God because the writer is trusting that God will hear his complaints and take action to help him.
In similar cases throughout the Bible, expressions of anger can be seen as a way to acknowledge that only God has the power to change our circumstances. Even when things seem hopeless and beyond our control, anger can remind us to trust in God’s power.
When people are angry with God, they’re often angry with themselves. It can be hard to face our flaws and weaknesses, and it’s much easier to lash out at the people or things we think are responsible.
But when we’re angry with God, we’re just angry with ourselves. We’re frustrated because we know we’re not perfect, and we’re mad at ourselves for not living up to our standards. We’re disappointed because we expected more from ourselves, and we’re angry at God for not giving us what we wanted.
But God is always there, even when we’re angry with him. He loves us, and he’s always willing to forgive us.
All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber. Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988. Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world. He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.