(Proverbs 19:3 KJV) The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
Why do some people go through tragedy on an even keel and others lash out at God? We have all probably seen both demonstrated. Perhaps we have experienced it. I have friends who have lost children. My brother struggles with a rare form of cancer. Right now some friends have a grown son in ICU and it seems like it could go either way. Most have kept the faith. At least one has nothing but anger toward God. This verse gives some clues to why people turn away from God. It does not deal with the entire problem of evil. (If you want to go into that check out this post at Covenant of Love. I t is long but good.) This is personal. It lays a path for us to avoid.
Our response under pressure is condition by our “foolishness” (200). This is a word that is almost always reserved for the book of Proverbs with its emphasis on Wisdom. It is only used twice in Psalms compared to twenty-two in Proverbs. It means folly. Another word that comes from the same root means “silly.” Everyone has a bit of “silly” in their life. It breaks the monotony and gives a bit of variety. We all do things that are stupid. That is part of being human. What we are talking about here is habitual behavior. Some people go through life ignoring the warnings of the Holy Spirit and laughing at the “uptight prudes” around them. They are going to grab for all the gusto, do it their way, live for the day; and set up the foundations of failure.
This “perverteth” (subverts NASB) (5557) their “way” (1870). The KJV has it better here. “Pervert” means twist and warp. Have you ever seen someone standing straight and tall, walked up behind them, struck the back of one of their knees and watch them stagger and possibly fall? It is fun if no one is hurt. It is an example of what happens in life when our foundations is subverted or bent. When the weight comes the support crumbles.
Then when we have disobeyed all God’s commands and ignored His wisdom we “rage” (2196) against God. We blame God. When the time comes to trust and walk in faith we lose it. I don’t really fault anyone who goes through a brief reaction. Pain is real. Responses happen. God is patient and ministers to us. But I have noticed that if a person is not in the habit of cursing they don’t yell obscenities when they hit their thumb with a hammer.
So lay the groundwork daily. Avoid foolishness. Ground yourself in truth. I pray that you will either never be tested or will pass with faithful colors.