Don't bite the stick!
(Charles Spurgeon, "Flowers from a Puritan's Garden" 1883)
"As children will thank the tailor, and think they owe their new clothes to him rather than to their parent's bounty — so we often look to the instrument of blessing, and thank that instead of God."
Second causes must never be made to stand before the First Cause. Friends and helpers are all very well as servants of our Father — but our Father must have all our praise.
There is a similar evil in the matter of trials and afflictions. We are apt to be angry with the instrument of our affliction — instead of seeing the hand of God over all, and meekly bowing before it.
It was a great help to David in bearing with the railing Shimei — when he saw that God had appointed this provocation as a chastisement. He would not allow his hasty captains to take the scoffer's head, but meekly said, "Let him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has bidden him."
When a dog is struck — he will bite the stick! If he were wise, he would observe that the stick only moves as the hand directs it. Just so, when we discern God in our tribulations, we are helped to be quiet and endure with patience.
Let us not act like silly children, but trace matters to their fountain-head, and act accordingly. May the Spirit of wisdom make us understand.
"He is the LORD; let Him do what is good in His eyes." 1 Samuel 3:18
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away — may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21
"Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" Job 2:10
"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other." Ecclesiastes 7:14