Thursday, July 6, 2017
FINDING PURPOSE IN TRAGEDY
Abel had it pretty good. He seemed to enjoy favor from both his earthly father, Adam, and his heavenly Father, Yehovah. Abel's life was cruising along nicely and then... tragedy struck! Tragedy struck for Abel when he realized his brother was about to kill him. Tragedy struck when Adam and Eve discovered that their son Cain killed their son Abel. A seemingly senseless tragedy, serving no purpose except to plunge two parents into grief at the loss of two sons, one murdered, the other banished by God Himself.
DOES ANYTHING REALLY SERVE NO PURPOSE?
Psalm 119:89-91 Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.
If we are to believe scripture, everything has purpose. If we are to believe scripture, God is not only sovereign, He is a God of order. If we are to believe scripture, man has free will and is not a creature of order. So, by the power of deductive reasoning, we can conclude: man is chaotic and allowed to freely choose chaos and disorder by a God of order and the tragedy wrought by the chaos of man is somehow used by God to bring about His stated purpose and order. Seems paradoxical, but somehow it works.
WHAT MAN MEANT FOR EVIL, GOD USES FOR GOOD
Many Jewish families were living, working and flourishing in Germany. Everything was going along fine and then...tragedy struck. Adolph Hitler nearly eradicated European Jewry. God used this great tragedy to re-establish the nation of Israel, a fulfillment of prophecy. In the midst of tragedy, most living in concentration camps had no sense of God's purpose, only hopelessness. God's purpose was always in play, however. Like a master chess player matched up against a novice, every move the novice makes ultimately serves the master's victory.
WHAT'S THE POINT?
Above are two tales of tragic events. At first, purpose may not seem apparent in the events of the first murder. Cain believed he could extinguish the light of God's truth by extinguishing the light bearer, in this case, Abel. God's purpose was to prove the light of truth is bigger than any one man. For more on this topic, CLICK HERE God is a God of purpose and order, no tragedy catches Him by surprise, nor can any tragedy thwart His plans. CLICK HERE for my post: Where is God When...?
The above verse tells us all things are God's servants. All things work together for the purposes of God, even tragedy in our own personal lives. The question is not always "why did this happen?" The real question is, "How will God be glorified in this, and what is my role in His glorification?" God, being all knowing, calculates every possible choice and action of chaotic man, employing a counter measure designed to use even the efforts of evil men to fulfill His plan for mankind. That is true power, that is true sovereignty. That is a God worth serving!