Friday, June 01, 2007

Questioning God

Human beings in all the stupor of our fallen condition often ask sophomoric questions of God. After considering some act of evil one may ask, "Where was God?" Why, He's omnipresent, of course. He was there. We may also ask, more to the point, "Why does God let bad things happen?"

To answer this, we must ask the question, "What is a bad thing?" Certainly if we break God's law a bad thing has occurred. However, how bad is it? Has God been harmed by someone breaking His law? We can say that Christ was crucified and that certainly counts as being harmed. But is it? God has His ends in mind and He is not thwarted by our measly disobedience. There is no power against God in sin. Sin does harm to us, not God. In fact, He can use it to His advantage - to glorify Himself. Before whom is God glorified? Over whom does he require an advantage? He is God. He has the glory and the advantage without our faithless praise and vain prayers. That we have any proper inclination toward God is due to His condescension toward us, not our attempts to please Him. If we seek His face, we do so for our benefit, not His - for how can we benefit God? Nothing we can do in the world is untainted by sin.

So what do we say of people who are murdered or killed for no apparent reason? "They are innocent and undeserving of death," many are inclined to declare. No. All of us deserve death. We have an unfaithful view of God and His promise of eternal life if all we see is the function of our bodies in this world. There is more that this mud hole. It is a mere shadow of what God has for us. All whose bodies cease to function in this world for whatever cause are in the hands of a God who is both just and gracious.

Can we then do anything of worth? Yes, all things have worth and are redeemable by our Creator. However, God is not unconcerned for us and desires that we should do those things that benefit us. What most benefits us is a relationship with Him. This relationship in a fallen world is best fostered by our obedience to Him. He therefore gave us His law to reveal Himself to us, protect us, and provide a context to save us.

May God grant us wisdom to have faith and the power to obey.

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