Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Musings:01/16/10,Why,Why,Why? by John

Why? Why? Why?

"Why" is one of the five questioning words newspaper reporters and other writers use. Those words get the salient facts in any situation, but the answers are not always available, are they? My wife and I were just discussing the Haiti earthquake over breakfast. We had just listened to two or three religious leaders comment on this disaster. Ministers frequently feel they have to have an answer for everything that happens. We don't have them much of the time. That's not unusual. Of all the prophets in Israel, there were usually no more than two or three who had messages directly from God as far as Biblical history records. Prophets such as Elijah, Elisha, and those whose names are on books bearing their histories received direct messages from God. They did not have the Book we call the Bible to guide them. It was being written, but it was not complete until quite some time after the resurrection of Jesus. The Bible is our guide now, and we should refer to it constantly. God doesn't contradict Himself in His written word or in His spoken word. We don't usually understand it as well as we should, so we need to consult it regularly in prayer. It tells us that one of the works of God's Spirit is to guide us into truth. We have truth, but every day the body of truth is enlarged.

What (another of those reporter words) does the New Testament of the Bible say in connection with sin and disaster? Well, sin brings disaster, doesn't it? Romans 6:23 tells us sin is followed by death, but even so the "gift of God is eternal life!" In John 9, the disciples asked Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." Personal sin was not the cause of his blindness, and that causes me to remember Job. Even Satan could not find fault with him, and he suffered great loss and pain. Even his wife suggested he curse God and die!

Jump back to the New Testament with me. My wife reminded me at breakfast that Jesus in Matthew 5:44,45 said, "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." That's pretty plain, isn't it? Natural events are not changed by our spiritual lives whether good or bad. It also leaves open the area of God's creativity. Personally, I believe God continues to create. Genesis says He rested on the seventh day, but it does not say He stopped creating forever. Christians tend to look down on scientists as people who have missed the point, and scientists tend to look at those Christians as being both blind and ignorant. What a blessing it is that the majority of both groups are Christians, scientists and well educated!

We shouldn't overlook reality because what God creates is real! Most of us know something about tectonic plates and how they shift. Most of us are aware that volcanoes are real, and that they are involved in the destruction and formation of landmass. Earthquakes may be part of the groaning of creation mentioned in Romans 8:22; "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

I've said these things leading up to this question: Why would anyone think that all of the Haitians, and all of the people who were visiting there when the earthquake struck, could possibly have been in league with the devil? Why would anyone believe that all of the destructive acts of nature are caused by particular individuals' sins? I just cannot understand that. I would be extremely upset if I heard a pastor say that Haiti was hit by such devastation due to a handful of people who chose sin instead of salvation! I would have to address them to Genesis 18,19 to see that God got His people out of Sodom before He destroyed it. I see no reason He wouldn't have done the same thing anywhere and any time He decided to destroy a people.

The Bible, particularly the New Testament, reminds us that God loves each one of us. That would include every person who died in the earthquake. And that He gives us time to repent and make peace with Him. The Bible tells us Jesus saves sinners. If you aren't a sinner, Jesus hasn't saved you. In that case, you have no need of a physician His Word tells us, but that same Word tells us all of us are sinners! (Romans 3:23) And all of us deserve death. (Romans 6:23). That means every one of us, all ministers included, deserve death based on our sinfulness; yet, here we are alive! We are still here because God gives us time to change, and Jesus gives us the opportunity to change. Romans 10:9,10, we often quote, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." The way into the eternal presence of God is Jesus, and the way is open for every one of us. He is the God of Life, and all who come to Him receive life everlasting regardless of their past.


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