Following The Evidence #127

We have been considering how can God be good when He permits things that seem to be so destructive and hurtful to humans? Firstly, we noted that His ways are not our ways. Secondly, we decided that God acts from the standpoint of eternity rather than time. He makes decisions from and infinite perspective, while we view things from the standpoint of time.

My Third point is that God does not delight in suffering, but the drama must roll to its divine conclusion (and purpose) of demonstrating to a watching universe the result of rebellion (Ephesians 3:10). Finally, as finite beings we cannot judge an infinite being.
It must have been 50 years ago when I sat on a hill with Michael, a friend who was struggling with his faith. He recounted lots of the world’s problems and then I can still hear him saying, “I don’t know what God is up to.” God is not obligated to tell us what He is up to. It is not necessary for us to see God’s purpose in order to believe that He has an infinite plan and knows what He is doing. The clay has no right to judge or question the potter. It is not necessary to know God’s purposes before we bow before His authority.

So, what is the purpose of natural disasters? Jesus talked about Pilate butchering a group of Galileans, or a group who had a tower fall on them (Luke 13:1-4). His point was the need for all of us to repent (change our minds). Disasters may be pictures of judgment, but those who die are not greater sinners than those who are spared such a fate. There is little equity and fairness in this world. Why does one man starve while I ‘suffer’ from an overabundance? We cannot pretend to understand all that God has in mind when tragedies come to a country, family, or person.

Tragedies are God’s megaphones. Firstly, they tell us death is inevitable: fairly distributed -one per person. We all could die without warning. Natural disasters are a reminder of our mortality and that life is on loan from God. Tragedies do not increase the number who die, because we will all die eventually, and very few of us will die peacefully in our sleep. Secondly, tragedies should remind us that God’s final judgments are coming. End time calamities are a sign of the end. Convulsions in nature are part of God’s sovereign judgment. In the Australian fires and floods (which we oscillate between) how many turn to God as we face our mortality? The third and final lesson we should gather from this divine megaphone is that we escape the coming final judgment by repentance. This is an orbiting cemetery from which there is only one way of escape.

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