Jul 1, 2009, 9:03 AM
You have no doubt heard on a number of occasions people venting their anger in the course of or over a major disaster, incident or natural calamity they thought God, who is all-knowing and all-powerful, could have prevented but didn’t. In essence, the query is why couldn’t God have done something about it. Is God indifferent to what is happening around us? Is His hand too short that He cannot intervene positively?
At the creation, God gave dominion to Adam to rule the world. (Genesis 1:26) But that authority was lost when Satan, ‘the prince of this world,’ deceived Eve and they broke God’s law. “You are free to eat of any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16)
Disobedience gave birth to sin and humans fell from grace, cursed. However, God in His compassion demonstrated His love for His creation and assigned His Son to take the form of a human being in order to redeem humanity and restore his lost authority over all creation. This was realised when Jesus nailed the consequences of Adam’s sin to the cross. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17)
Humankind was then given a choice either to stick with God or to follow Satan. At this point, a major change in our nature became operational. Our Lord Jesus recommends that we must ‘be born again,’ which means; to be recreated, be renewed. Each of us has to do away with his/her old self to take on a new.Many have chosen to link up with the evil one - the devil consciously or unconsciously. By making this choice, humanity is telling God to take His hands off its affairs.
Two worlds – the spiritual and the natural - with conflicting interests operate around us and each is governed by its specific principles. Both worlds have their rules and their regulations. Our beliefs and actions determine on which side we have opted for. This is important because we cannot continue to blame God for our woes after we have chosen to stay in the devil’s camp.
Right from the beginning, God has blessed us immensely through patriarch Abraham. He desires for us “to enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting on well.” (3 John 2) God has made everything for our well-being available to us. This is what He told Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; and I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2) These blessings are equally ours.
God’s love for humanity is exceptional – to the point where he gave up His only Son to die for us a cruel death. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (Isaiah 64:4) He cannot then afflict us with woes. Our woes are a direct result of our actions which run contrary to the word of God.
God will not bless us with all earthly and heavenly blessings on the one hand only to withdraw them with the other. It has to do with us, our stubbornness, our disobedience, our uncontrollable lusts; these things get in the way of our relationship with God and we make a way for Satan to afflict us. When our ancestors sinned, they brought its consequences upon themselves. It did not stop there; it has been rolled down to us. It need not be that way however because our Lord Jesus bore all our sins so that we may be free.
Having served 430 years as slaves in Egypt, the Children of Israel were finally liberated by Moses and were en route for the Promised Land. Because they had no confidence in God and His ability to protect them from their enemies as well as cater for alltheir needs, they grumbled all the way. If it wasn’t for water, it was for food or fear of being slaughtered by the enemy. There was nothing one could do to satisfy them. Worst than that they sinned openly against the Lord God and His anger consumed them.
Grumbling is a hindrance to God’s moves in our lives and He fails to act. Each time we doubt God’s power to intervene and solve our multiple problems, we diminish His very nature to do ‘exceedingly above all that we can hope or think of.’ When we comport ourselves in this manner, God turns His back on us. Failure to exercise faith – total trust - discredits His ‘compassion which is renewed every morning.’
Why on earth should we then blame God for all our woes? First it is because we do not know Him well enough. If we obey His teachings we can be sure to eat the fruit of the land. He told Joshua: “Do not let the Book of the Law (the Bible) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” (Joshua 1:8) Spending quality time with the Word is a worthwhile venture. For God’s word constitutes “a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) When we hold fast to God’s word, we are certain we are standing on a rock. God says He will watch over His word to perform it. “I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12) This same word of God has been described as fire and a hammer ready to burn down and crush.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
The magnitude of the problems we face are, to a certain extent, due to our relationship with God who openly declared He would “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” (Hebrew 13:5)