In several schools, I attended, my intellectual friends loved to needle me whenever a terrible disaster struck, killing many. They knew I was devoted to God Almighty, so they had choice words for me:
"How can you even say there is a God?!! If there was a God and He was a good God He wouldn't let such things happen in His creation! No, Clint, you are so mistaken! You worship this so called loving God who you say created the whole Universe. If HE does exist, how could HE be kind or even good and let innocent people die like flies?? Clint, you are so messed up! How can you believe that stupid stuff your parents taught about God? It is totally illogical!"
I had no good answer back then, except that I just knew somewhere, deep down in my inner being, that God was good, even if I didn't understand why calamities come.
Oh how I wish I could tell those ones now what I learned in God's Word. If only I had been a deeper and better student of the Bible back then. But, I suppose I was too young in the faith, too new a believer.
Today I know that their question, "How could a loving God let these calamities happen," was not even a valid question! The reason I had no answer was that my friends had the wrong question. The correct question is this:
"How can mankind allow these terrible calamities to happen??"
In Genesis I learned that before sin entered this World the weather was perfect, so perfect nobody needed a house! It didn't even rain. The Earth was watered by condensation or dew that came at night. Every green leaf was a salad. There were no poisonous plants. Everything was perfect. From what I read in Genesis it appears that there was nothing in the original creation that was dangerous, vile, violent or corrupt, except that old Serpent, the Devil. The Earth was a house of safety, a perfect haven floating amongst the stars, that God had created for Adam and Eve to enjoy.
But when Adam and Eve shoved the curse of sin down the throat of God's creation, Paul tells us that the whole creation began to groan.
"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." [Romans 8:22]
God's creation began to sink into depression, mourning and writhing. Sin thrust the creation into a struggling to set itself free, to wrench itself loose from the stronghold of the curse of darkness! Sin is like the cinch strap that is tightened cruelly about the body of an unbroken horse, in order to insure the horse will buck more wildly at a rodeo. The cinch makes the horse so uncomfortable that it must buck! Sin makes the creation buck!
A related scene unfolds when we read about the Exodus of Israel, as they traveled, being led by the glory cloud, the pillar of cloud and fire. Those who pitched their tents close to the pillar of fire were warmed in the otherwise cold desert nights. During the terrible heat of the desert sun the glory cloud became a huge canopy, providing a miracle cooling for any who would draw near. Psalm 91 reflects on this when it says:
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." [Psalm 91:1]
God's glory cloud was shade by day and a warmth by night. Under the glory cloud it was a little Garden of Eden! But those who insisted on setting up their tents farthest from the glory cloud, who had little use for the Lord, found themselves in dangers from the outside evil forces. By choosing to stay away from the glory cloud, they were placing themselves at the mercy of a cinched-up and sin-cursed creation!
And so when Adam and Eve sinned, when they laid down their intimacy with God in order to seek after knowledge, they were sending powerful messages to God. One of those messages was, "We want to have knowledge! We are smart enough to be TOTALLY in charge here!" And God, being above all gentlemen, backed off. And when God backs off, the glory cloud of safety and protection backs off too. And then things start to get chaotic.
In recent history mankind has not lessened the "back off" message that Adam sent God. Instead mankind has intensified that message. In general we humans act like we want God to be sure and take a long walk on a short peer. The only time some people think of God is when calamity strikes. And when calamities do strike, men are very quick to blame God. In the insurance world they used to call "calamity," "acts of God."
It could very well be that the rebellion against God of my own Nation, the USA, has further cinched-up the creation. When this Nation stands before God, I will not be surprised if we discover that some of these awful calamities, on the far side of the planet, were somehow connected to America. Our sins, as a Nation, could be cinching-up the creation, in such a way, that the creation bucks harder and more violently.
Weather scientists are beginning to understand that the wave of a butterfly's wing in Brazil could ultimately impact the weather thousands of miles away. That is why it is so hard to accurately predict weather, the smallest things have an effect. And if that is so in the physical world, how much more in the spiritual world that touches all.
My Bible tells me that God is going to continue, for awhile longer, backing off, concerning the control of the Earth. God is going to let sin come to full fruit. God is going to let evil run the creation to a point where only God can save it. Isaiah 24:5 tells how man is actually destroying the Earth and laying it waste.
"The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant."
My Bible also tells me that Jesus is going to show up to take back what is God's. He will rule a thousand years and show how truly wonderfully God can run things, as compared to mankind.
So next time someone asks you, "How could God allow such terrible things," you might pray that the Lord would help you to very kindly and lovingly point out what mankind has been saying to God for centuries. The human race has been telling God what two year olds tell their parents, "I can do it MYSELF!!" Frank Sinatra was not joking when he sang that hit song, "I Did It My Way!" Remind your friend that God knows how to take a hint. And the real question is "Why would mankind allow such things to happen? Why won't all peoples repent and invite the Creator to take back control, and be in charge? Why does man want to be in charge of that which is way beyond his abilities??"
The good news is that each one of us can invite the Lord Jesus to come and control our own life. And we need to choose God every day. God works on a 24 hour basis. And each morning, every 24th hour, you need to choose HIM again. God is such a gentleman that HE wants to be invited every day to take the steering wheel of your life into HIS glorious hands. Our God is a hiding God! We must seek HIM everyday. HE wants to be sought out on a daily basis. HE wants to be invited to take control on a daily basis. Yesterday's prayers are old. God wants to hear our call today, afresh and anew for HIS control.
"Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour." [Isaiah 45:15]
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