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Why, God?

Why, God?

As we go through the Gospel of Luke, today we start chapter 13. Jesus is ministering to a crowd when He’s asked a question. It’s the type of question still asked today when tragedy strikes.

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Luke 13:1-3 NIV

This is one of those timeless questions. When some kind of catastrophe strikes, we want to know why. Why were all these people killed or injured? Were they bad people? Was God sending His judgment upon them?

I’m glad that Jesus dealt with this the way He did. He makes it clear that they didn’t die because they were bad people. It just happened because Pilate, the governor, was evil.

That’s something that we have a hard time dealing with. There are evil people in power, right now, all over the earth. They cause wars, oppress people groups, and terrorize the innocent. The question many people ask is; why didn’t God stop them?

Here’s the problem in a nutshell. On one hand, God loves all people with an unfathomable Love that we could never understand. On the other side, He created humanity with the ability of self-choice.

When someone in power chooses to start a war that kills thousands of innocent people, that was their choice. For God to stop them from making that choice, would be taking away that choice. In his perfection, God can’t do that.

Let me put it into perspective. Most people would have wanted God to stop Hitler from starting WWII. However, most people involved in adultery would not want God stopping them, even though it could destroy their family. Most people would not want God to stop them from getting drunk on the weekend.

If God took away free choice from Hitler, then He would have to take it away from everybody. We don’t want that. We only want God to intervene on what we think are important matters. There are other wrongs that we want the Lord to keep His hands off.

The fact is that God has given humanity free choice. We have to live with that, even if some of the choices we make cause deep suffering. Our response should be to reach out to Christ for the cure to this dilemma.

There was another question that was on their hearts.

Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them — do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Luke 13:4-5 NIV

Another problem we have is the matter of natural disasters. Many people call them “acts of God”. Let me tell you straight up, God has nothing to do with tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, or even COVID.

Yes, I know there are Christians who say that God sent these disasters to a certain region because He was judging them. That’s totally unscriptural. We’re now living in a time of grace. Judgment is being reserved for the end.

We have to realize that we’re in a spiritual war right now. Satan, the enemy, is becoming more and more desperate as he sees the end approaching. In his hatred of humanity, he’s shooting out volleys of his “flaming arrows” (Ephesians 6:16).

During ancient warfare, the archers weren’t aiming at any particular person. They would simply send up a cloud of arrows knowing that most of them would hit somebody. That’s what the enemy is doing now with these natural disasters.

That’s why it’s so important to keep our faith up and healthy in these last days. Remember, faith is a shield against the effects of these attacks. Our faith will allow us to continue to stand in Christ in spite of a direct hit from one of these arrows.

Question: How do you keep your faith strong during these days?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Understanding Brings More Questions

Have you ever noticed that the more you understand Scripture and your spiritual walk, the more questions you seem to have?  That’s normal.  Even the disciples of Christ experienced it.

In my last post, three of the disciples went with Jesus up a mountain and saw Him transfigured into His heavenly glory.  Then the Lord explained to them about His coming death and resurrection.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.
Mark 9:9-10

Of course, looking back to this time, the phrase “rising from the dead” seems pretty simple to understand.  That’s especially true since Jesus had already started preparing all of His disciples on this subject.

I think the problem is that none of them wanted to believe that the way to our salvation was for Jesus to physically die.  They were in denial about the literal meaning of what the Lord was saying.

But as they were discussing this, more questions were arising.

And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
Mark 9:11

I think that’s funny.  They couldn’t accept the literal teaching that Jesus had to die.  And yet, they couldn’t grasp that Elijah’s appearing was symbolically fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist.  It’s amazing the way our minds work.

We always think along the lines that are most comfortable for us.  That’s why if we don’t like what a passage of Scripture is saying, we ask for peoples’ opinions about it.  Then, we go with the explanation that disturbs us the least.

Jesus answers their questions – both the spoken and unspoken ones.

Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things.  Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?  But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”
Mark 9:12-13

The Lord takes the time to explain about His ministry and the ministry of John the Baptist.  Why is this important to us?

I think that too many times we’re under the impression that you can never question God.  We’re told not to ask Him about what’s going on in our lives.  They say that it shows a lack of faith.

On the contrary, I see in the life of Christ a willingness to answer the tough questions.  We serve a big God.  He’s not intimidated by anything we may ask.

Of course, attitude is everything.  I’m talking about asking with a humble heart.  I’ve received answers to these types of prayers.

“Lord, why am I going through this?  Is there something in me that needs to change?”

“What do I need to do to grow in your grace?  How can I be more like You, Jesus?”

I’ve found that God usually answers these prayers.  But you have to be willing to accept whatever He tells you…even if it’s uncomfortable.

It blesses me to know that the Lord wants a conversational relationship with His children.

Question: What have you learned from asking God questions?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2018 in Prayer, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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