Monday, April 22, 2013

God's Feelings About Boston

How could a loving God allow this?

Last week we watched video of the Boston Marathon attacks and aftermath. Two bombs. Four deaths. Hundreds maimed and injured. Many still critical. The account of the little boy, face bloodied, sitting by his mother whose leg (or legs) had been blown away. The reporter said he’d never forget that sight. We saw heroic first-responders, frightened eye-witnesses, and all the speculations of who did this and why. Then there were the videos of the suspects, the shooting at MIT, the gun battles, the Watertown lockdown, and finally the capture of the last killer. Bostonians came out on the street and cheered for the police.

Now we pray for healing and for lives to be restored. For many it’s not over.

How could God allow this? How does God feel about the events at the Marathon and in Watertown?

To answer this, consider what we felt. The Bible says we are made in God's image. Our responses are clues to the Divine emotions. 

We all felt the horror of the blasts, the shooting, the deaths, and the injuries. It was senseless and unspeakably evil. We’re grieved. God is grieved. The deaths bring pain to His heart.  We feel anger. Does God? Yes. God is also angry that the killers would do this. We rejoice that justice is being done. God wants justice more than us. 

Somewhere in the world there are dark souls who justify the attack. They would have reasons. They’ve heard the propaganda. Maybe they’ve experienced some pain that they either rightfully or wrongfully project on the United States.

Their pain or bitterness might justify Boston in their minds.

For right thinking people there is no justification for Boston. God is in that camp too, based on what we know of His character as revealed through Jesus in the Bible.

Then there’s the flip-side. People risking injury to help others. The tears and compassion. People carrying victims out of danger. The outpouring of affection by Bostonians. The tireless and professional medical care. The amazing work of law enforcement to bring about justice. The crowd at a hockey game taking over the singing of the national anthem from the soloist. We were moved by all of that. It gave us hope. This is God, too. He has been upholding what matters most, and underscoring those values in our minds. 

These noble and patriotic values mirror His values. “I’ve never felt this kind of unity,” said one Watertown resident. The people created in His image are showing the best of human nature. God is hopeful for us.“Boston is strong.”

But why? Why didn’t he stop them?

Why doesn’t he stop all wrong-doing?

If God began to punish those that deserve death, where would it end? Where would I be? The Psalmist wrote, “If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned?”[1] That’s why Jesus went to the cross, so that we can escape being condemned like the Boston bombers.

God feels our pain. He’s on our side. Let us hold Him in honor.

[1] Psalm 130:3

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Michael for writing this. It needed to be said. I hope a lot of people read this.


Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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