Why This Rage?
By Billie Marie Zal
I was watching TV concerning a discussion on “behavior control” and most of the men who spoke did not know WHY they had such rage. One man - now in prison - was driving along and a van cut in front of him. Instead of letting it pass, he pursued the van, and when the driver of the van gave him an obscene gesture, he got a gun out of his glove compartment and shot both occupants to death. The man had never had any charges against him, and had never hurt anyone before. What happened?
We can blame violence on TV, a dysfunctional family, poverty, or lack of education. But there are those who are born into such an environment who do not kill two people because they were insulted by a passerby. So what happened?
Nothing really has happened that was not here since the history of man began. In fact, something happened BEFORE God created man. It happened in Heaven, at the very Throne of god. Lucifer, the archangel who probably had more authority than any other angel in the hosts of God, decided one day that what he had was not enough. So he boldly declared, “I WILL be like the most High.” The rage against a higher authority had come to the boiling point. And this proved to be Satan’s mistake. One day Lucifer (satan) will be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Since satan could not rule in Heaven, he would ruin God’s most wonderful creation - man. And most of us know what happened. God had given Adam and Eve rules to follow. They could eat from every fruit of every tree in the Garden of Eden EXCEPT the tree with the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan understood greed and a desire for power. So he came to Eve, telling her that God was a liar. God had said if they ate of the fruit of the that tree they would surely die. Satan said, “No, you won’t.” So Eve ate of it and succeeded in getting Adam to eat of it. And they died; not physically, but that part of them - selves which had been innocent - the spirit within them that had made them a creation in God’s own image (body, soul and spirit)- that part died. Their spirit died and they were cast out of the Garden, and the sin of rebellion lay dormant within them.
Ever since then we are born with that sin of rebellion. We don’t want to be told what to do, or when to do it. We don’t like discomforts, and we hate authority. That is the perfect picture of ourselves when we are born into this world.
Why else do babies protest when they come out of the womb into a cold, strange world where they are no longer protected by the womb’s confines? They yell, and then as they grow older, they cry when they are wet, when they are hungry, when they are tired, when they are sick. It is a justified rebellion for babies. They are innocent, until they reach the age of accountability. But as babies grow, so does the rebellion grow.
For example, I recently saw a news report where two young boys held a little five year old out of a high rise and dangled him, and then let him fall to the ground. Of course it killed the little fellow. These boys had no
remorse. As they were brought into court they mouthed obscenities at those who would be chosen as jurors for their trial. And people wonder why?
These youngsters had never learned to cope with their rebellion. Beginning in the late fifties or early sixties it became unpopular to discipline a child. Today a parent can hardly spank a kid without being reported to the child protective services.
But I myself might have ended up like those youngsters had God not let me be born to a lady who was slight of build but awesome in her personality. There was no way I could get around her discipline. I tried. Once at Sunday School in Chelsea, Oklahoma, my cousin Norwood pushed me aside and took my place in line. I was murderously angry and I went to my Mother. She was the Sunday School secretary and had no time for conversation. She told me firmly to go back to my class. I shook my head vehemently NO! I saw a look cross her face which sent chills down my spine. But now my pride was involved. Norwood would make fun of me and that was an unbearable thought. So I kept on following her.
She finally grabbed me by the arm and escorted me to my class, thus saving my pride a little (If I was FORCED to come back, Norwood couldn’t laugh). Then I made my plans to get around the inevitable spanking. But when Church was over and we started walking home, I used my sweetest smile and said, “I’ve got the prettiest Mama in the whole world.” No comment. Then I skipped and hopped, and fluffed the ruffles on my dress. Again, no comment. By now I was worried. My “ploy” had not worked and I feared the worst.
And the worst happened. Mama took me into the house, picked me up, put me over her lap, and I got a sound spanking. In fact, I truly couldn’t sit down for awhile. But it worked. That part of me accepted the authority of my Mother’s great power! I would not try to work on her again, and take my punishment with dignity. Being only 3 years old, it’s amazing that it is so real to me today.
This is the place where we MUST get to know that there is an authority in life wherever we are and wherever we go. To obey that authority brings order. To disobey it brings disaster.
About one year later we had moved to an apartment building in downtown Muskogee, Oklahoma, and I loved it. All the people thought I was so “cute” and I played the role to the hilt. But there was Mother as usual, a thorn in my fleshly pride. One day a lady brought her little boy by for Mama to keep while she went to the doctor. I didn’t like “Dewey.” He was younger than me, and Mama made over him and so I thought, “preferred him to me.” Nothing made her notice me. Old Dewey had the spot light. She was in the kitchen and I walked into the bedroom (holding my rag doll for security) and there was Dewey, HANGING OUT THE WINDOW with only the toes of his shoes giving him leverage to prevent his falling thirty feet or so to the concrete walk below.
He was making noises, scared out of his wits, and I clearly recall wishing he would just drop dead. I stood there, allowing myself a few seconds to gloat, and then I recall SLOWLY walking to the kitchen, twirling my rag doll behind me, and saying, “Dewey is hanging out the window.” Mama’s reaction was electrifying. Running to the bedroom, screaming horribly, she got there just in time to grab Dewey’s feet and drag him in. I felt smug. I had NOT committed murder, but I surely had wanted him to die. My pride was intact when Mama commended me for “saving Dewey’s life.”
Therefore, I KNEW what prompted these two young boys to kill the little five year old. Rebellion, anger, jealousy. . .all lie in the human heart ready to burst forth when the conditions are ripe.
After I was born of God I remembered this terrible thing that I almost did, and I knew that God had mercy on us for EVERYTHING. If I had hated, and wanted the child dead, I had killed. Jesus Himself said if we hate, we murder.
There is a story in the Bible that is interesting to me. Absalom was the handsome son of King David, and for some reason or other David never disciplined his sons. Maybe he had a guilt complex; he’d had Bathsheba’s husband put on the front lines of battle, insuring his death, because he had gotten her pregnant while her husband had been away. But he could have rid himself of that guilt complex and disciplined his sons to prevent their “doing their own thing.”
Anyhow, Absalom dearly loved his sister Tamar and obviously had respected her as his sister. However, his half brother, Amnon, first in line for the throne of David, also had an affection for his sister. But Amnon’s affection was licentious, and he lured her into his room, pretending he was sick, and asking her to tend to him. Instead, he raped her and instantly repulsed, he ordered her out of his sight. She begged him to marry her (marriage between siblings was not against the law at that time) and erase her shame. But he refused. So she went to Absalom and told him.
Absalom was enraged, but he made his plans to get even. And two years later he invited “all the king’s sons” to a big party, got Amnon drunk, and killed him. Absalom was slowly and surely making himself into a god. Only God has the right to avenge Himself, and had Absalom and even King David obeyed the Scriptures (the Law) Amnon would have been killed for what he did. Thank God for the “Age of Grace” where God’s Law is fulfilled in the love and mercy of His Son Jesus Christ! Thank God He abolished capital punishment!
Absalom was frightened that he would be killed, so he fled to his grandfather’s court in Geshur. The Syrian wife of King David had given him a son who had no respect for authority. Finally, after three years King David’s army commander persuaded him to let Absalom return to Jerusalem, but David waited two more years before he saw his son. And by now the rebellion in Absalom’s heart had reached its fruition.
Absalom turned against his own father, slept in “the sight of all Israel” with King David’s concubines, and led a revolt against the king in order to steal the kingdom. Such is the power of the human will left to itself. During the battle, Absalom’s own self love was the means of his undoing. As he fled through the thick forest of Ephraim, his long and beautiful hair was caught in the oak branches and he hung by his hair until Joab came along and thought to himself, he deserves to die. He killed Absalom and the end of a man who could have been a fine king came to pass.
“So what do these stories do for me?” “How do I relate to these people?” might be your question. The answer is simple. These people are just like us. We have the very same disposition to sin that they had; we have the desire for power like they did. We have the resentment that causes us to hate enough to kill. We have a feeling that we have “rights” to do as we please. And we don’t have any rights at all. We are born hostage to the devil. Little babies and very young children are innocent and held unaccountable. But as we grow, we must develop that part of us that seeks God - that seeks a solution for what we are becoming.
That’s why I don’t especially like “the sinner’s prayer.” I prayed that prayer all those years before I was born of God’s Spirit. God’s Word tells us that “GODLY sorrow works repentance,” and what is repentance? It is just leaving that “old you” behind, becoming so sick of it that all you can do is hope for God’s mercy. Taking notice of that knowledge of sin is one step, the very first and important step toward getting rid of rage. It is seeing that we are all cut from the same cloth and God included ALL OF US in that great and eternal Sacrifice of His only begotten Son on Calvary. We are entitled to that forgiveness and freedom from the yoke of bondage that satan put upon us in Adam.
I notice little things that help me better understand how we inherit the genes of Adam. My wolves are my dearest friends in the animal world. They come to me for hugs and kisses. They sit beside me and sometimes hold my hand. But at any given moment, those “wild genes” can flare up. And even though that rage is not against me, I get out of their way - FAST! They can be docile one moment and furious the next. They have their “social order” and if another wolf defies it there is an ensuing battle. If it gets too rough I break it up with the water hose.
But we are not wolves. We are human beings, and we have one opportunity that wolves will never have - the chance to come “out of the Old Adam” into the new life of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the “Second Adam.” What we cannot do, He can do. And He does, but only if we invite Him to. Never take God’s liberty for granted or abuse it. Your rage can and will be controlled when you bow to the ONLY authority on earth - The Triune God. If you do that the guards will no longer seem to be your enemies. You will no longer despise one another or fight on the yard. You will be at peace. And soon - very soon - we will be with the One upon whom God’s wrath fell at Calvary. So you don’t have to hate.
- From the February, 1996 Wingspread
As I wrote in our last newsletter, spring came too early this year. Winter had one more blast of Artic air and when it came all the leaves on the trees died. I resigned myself to one ugly summer, and I settled for a few flower boxes and a dead forest I could hardly stand to look at.
But I had not counted on God’s renewing power in nature, and it taught me a lesson. There is always a lesson in everything, if we just look around.
The leaves grew back, just like it was spring all over again. God gave the forest a second chance, and now we are living in a green jungle again. So always remember, He is a God of second chances. We can all start over right where we are today. The only thing we need is to know that we are like the leaves, dead and dried up and in need of starting over. God puts His spirit in us and all things become new.
Billie made a statement in this newsletter about how it had become popular to not discipline your children in the late 50’s or 60’s. It has been my great sorrow to watch the decline in respect, morals and character from that time on.
I’ve never talked about my childhood; and though it was far from perfect, I did have parents and
grandparents who never let me get away with any show of disrespect. I thought my grandpa was almost God (they were related for sure) and I was a little scared of him. He had 4 sons, of which my father was the oldest. They all worked in his wood working factory, and it became known for it’s fair practices, good work, and having things done when promised.
When the family got together there was always Bible reading, prayer and lots of singing. Grandpa played the guitar, and one of my uncles played the piano, and most everyone could sing, so it seemed to me.
Grandpa died when I was only 7 years old. I never got to know him well. I was so young, and in those days “children kept their place” and showed respect to their elders. But even so, he had a huge impact on my life. I didn’t know the details of his death, but I vividly remember the family gathering at the house for a last goodbye before he died. He had a twin sister and she sat on the bed with him all day. She sang to him, and sometimes he joined in. He left this world with joy, and that touched me very deeply. It’s a memory burned into my soul.
I love the story of Samuel. His mother, Hannah, went to the Temple and prayed to God for a child. She had not been able to bear a child and it caused her great grief. In the Temple she made a vow to God, that if she had a son she would give him to the Lord all the days of his life. She kept the promise and as soon as Samuel was old enough (probably 7 or 8) he went to the Temple to live and to serve Eli the priest. Once a year Hannah brought Samuel a new coat which she had made, “and the child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the Lord, and also with men” (1st Samuel 2:26). And the Lord blessed Hannah with 3 sons and 2 daughters, but I’m sure Samuel was very special to her.
However, Eli, the old priest, had 2 sons. The Bible says they were the “sons of Belial,” or in other words, worthless. God sent a man of God to Eli to warn him of judgment because he honored his sons above God. Eli never listened. God also spoke to Samuel and told him that he was going to judge the house of Eli because Eli restrained not his sons. There was war between Israel and the Philistines and Eli’s sons were killed and the Ark of God was taken. When Eli heard the news he fell backwards and broke his neck and died.
Take the time to read the 1st and 2nd books of Samuel. There is no book as interesting as the Bible, and so full of truths that pertain to life today.
Since it’s the month of Father’s Day I wanted to share with you a little about my grandpa’s life. He was a man of character and a good father. Then there was Eli, a man of God, but a weak father. Our earthly fathers give us a picture of God and we are blessed when our father is a man of God. Much was given me and I owe a great debt to God for my father and grandpa who both pointed me in the right direction. But in the end we owe everything to God who is our Father.
Front of Brian & Gail's house
The greenhouse & exercise room
Prayer Requests for June, 2007
For Robert Heffernan at Brickeys, Arkansas, for clemency from the governor, and for his health.
For Ken Hogan, McAlester, Oklahoma, who has a lot of numbness in his thigh.
For Tommy Hayes & everyone at the Estelle Unit.
For Randal Smith at Cushing, Oklahoma, that his family will contact him.
For Willie Hoffman’s friend, Joanna Mullins, in Virginia, who is going thru some rough times.
For Joe Gomez, Lexington, Oklahoma, who is having kidney problems.
For Willie Clark, Abilene, Texas, that he’ll get transferred closer to Houston.
For Melodi Sorge, Albuquerque, New Mexico, that she’ll be able to keep custody of her son.
For Michael Small’s father, William Small, who just had heart surgery. Michael is at Menard, Illinois.
For Michael Jones, Cushing, Oklahoma, that he will get his earned credits restored.
For Duane Fox, McAlester, Oklahoma, that he makes parole.
For Mickey Miller, McAlester, Oklahoma, and for his family.
For Marshall Ellis’ Mother, Ira Ellis, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Marshall is at Chester, Georgia.
For Willie Scott, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who has prostate cancer.
For Sister Ann & all the Carmelite Nuns in Little Rock.
For Pastor Scott, Los Angeles, California, for her ministry
For Karen Griffin, Clinton, Oklahoma, who battles cancer.
For all of us at Wingspread. We thank God for the rain showers we’ve had.
The ladies here thank all of you who sent Mother’s day cards. Also, Jay and Ed appreciated all the birthday wishes.
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