So many times, especially within today’s society, the media and many within our populace, questions “Where is God?” when something terrible happens, especially when it involves the death of children. And it doesn’t stop there, as a nation we have walked away from God and yet in some kind of twisted thinking, we somehow expect to still be under His divine protection. How could God allow this to happen to us? How could God allow this to happen to me?
In Deuteronomy Chapter 28 we see the blessings that God promises to those who follow in His ways and we also see the curses that lay in wait for those who chose to go their own ways. Of course, in Deuteronomy we are looking at Israel but the same general principles of blessing and curses is still applicable for any nation or any individual.
Here is a link that goes over the details. If you have the time, check it out. Trust me, it’s worth the refresher.
I’ve come to picture or understand the reasoning that God uses in the blessings and the curses in the following manner.
Picture that you have a son or daughter, that is relatively young and needs your protection and guidance. Picture that you allow your child to play outside in the fenced yard but you have instructed them not to go outside the yard. I know this is simplistic but bear with me.
You have instructed your relatively young son or daughter not to go outside of the yard because as a wise and cautious parent, you know the limited ability the child has to make sound judgements and you are also aware of what dangers lay outside of the yard.
But what happens if the child chooses to disregard your parental guidance and opens the closed gate and ventures into the nearby woods and gets lost? What happens if the child can’t find their way home and gets hungry and cold? What happens if the child is not dressed for the cool or cold nights and succumbs to the elements?
Does that mean that the parent who gave the warning to the child, doesn’t love the child?
Does that mean that the parent who gave the warning to the child wants to see the child get lost and get hungry and cold?
Does that mean that the parent who gave the warning to the child wants to see the child succumb to the elements?
The answer to all of these questions is obviously no, but because we are given free will, we have the right to chose as to whether we will follow the guidance that our God provides to us or go it on our own. On the one side, if we seriously take His guidance into consideration and actively decide to trust in His wisdom and love, He promises to guide us each step of the way. But on the other side, if we chose to ignore His guidance and make our own decisions, then the consequences of that decision is basically laid at our own door.
The short story is that you can’t have it both ways.
And although there are many examples and instances within the Bible and our own lives where God has intervened, in spite of our mis-guided decision to go outside of His yard and He has in His grace redirected us back into His protected yard, the general principle still applies. Note that the gate is not locked and we still have the option to go through it again, anytime that we chose to, because we have free will.
I know that there will be some who say my analogy breaks down because we are basically dealing with innocent children and I agree, but in essence, we all are children, regardless of our actual age, because what we think we know and what we actually know are seldom one and the same.
So many times, as I view the terrible things that happen within our society and also in many other distant parts of the world, the consequences of evil and the decisions of those who are in authority and have the power to inflict their will on others is hard to grasp and comprehend but that is what happens when man is left to his own wisdom and desires. One does not have to go back in history very far to see the depths to which man’s depravity for his fellow mankind can go.
Have you considered what a self inflicted wound is? That’s where you made a decision to do something that ultimately will harm you and you bear the consequences. It could be something as simple as staying out in the hot sun too long with no protection for your skin. You can of course, get sun burned. That’s a self inflicted wound. We have enacted many laws within our society that produce self inflicted wounds.
Why do we then stand up when something bad happens and say to God, “Where were you?”
Does it not sound reasonable, that God could also say to us, “Where were you?”
I recall the car bumper stickers that used to be more prevalent on cars many years ago. One of my favourites was “Feel distant from God? Who moved?”
If you are a student of the Bible you know that God ALWAYS spells out the pros and the cons before hand. You also know that God ALWAYS gives a warning and you also know that God ALWAYS offers forgiveness and mercy if we turn from our wayward ways. You will also know that God ALWAYS waits before acting on any forthcoming judgement, He waits until the inequity of the guilty party is full.
The problem has never been how fairly God deals with us, the problem continues to be how we unfairly deal with God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
1 John 1:9 NIV “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!