Complaints At God's Providence
( Originally Published 1902 )
THE bridge across the Hellespont had scarcely been completed before a terrible storm destroyed it. Xerxes was so enraged that he ordered three hundred lashes to be inflicted on, and a pair of fetters to be thrown into, the sea. It is said that he sent executioners to brand the Hellespont with ignominy, and addressed to it this message : " Thou ungracious water, thy master condemns thee to this punishment for having injured him without provocation.
Xerxes, the king, will pass over thee, whether thou consentest or not. Just is it that no man honors thee with sacrifice, for thou art insidious and of an ungrateful flavor." Having punished the sea, he then commanded those who had charge of the construction of the bridge to be beheaded. The sea suffered the injury for a time, and then, when it seemed most calm and peaceful, it arose in its fury, avenged itself on Xerxes by destroying four hundred of his ships, vast numbers of his choicest soldiers, and stores of richest treasure. The winds and waves and poison of the atmosphere and Grecian soldiers completed the humiliation and ignominious overthrow of this haughty, impious Persian monarch.
More silly and wicked than Xerxes are those persons who complain of God's dealings with them, and openly express their anger at the Divine Providence. They say, " What did God take my husband for? Why did he take my wife? I shall never feel kindly toward him again for having removed my boy or girl." We have even heard people say that they were angry at God and would never forgive him for having taken away a loved one. In insolence and in blasphemy their hearts lash the Almighty for his dealings with them. Our God is good and he doeth all things well.