I read an online article this morning as I waited for the bank to open. The title was Where is God for the Suffering, Starving, and Freezing? Besides being a great, attention-getting title, it’s a great question. You can read the article here.
It’s also an age-old question that’s probably been around since the dawn of time. We want to know where God is in the face of evil. The typical question goes something like this: If God is a god of love then why do people suffer? The oft drawn conclusion is that either God is not a god of love or He is not an all-powerful (omnipotent) god. He just can’t do anything about evil.
But are those the only two conclusions?
In fact, are we even looking in the right place?
Certainly, God is a god of love. The sacrifice of His beloved Son is all of the evidence that we need of His love.
Certainly, He is all-powerful. The miracles of Jesus, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead are all evidences of His power.
To ignore the sacrifice or the miracles of Jesus is to rewrite history in our own image.
So where should we look for answers when it comes to people who are suffering, starving and freezing?
We need to begin with sin. It was the voluntary sin of our first parents that introduced evil into the human equation. There are theological explanations as to how that sin got down to us but let’s just say that had any of us been in Eve’s place we would have done exactly as she did. Don’t flatter yourself to think otherwise.
Suffering, starving and freezing are the result of sin, not of God’s lack of love or any perceived weakness on His part.
Let’s not blame God for the ravages of sin.
Sure, God could heal the suffering, feed the starving and provide for the freezing – and He did (see Matthew 8:1-15 for healing the suffering, Matthew 14:13-21 for feeding the starving, and Mark 5:25-34 for providing for someone).
But Jesus didn’t heal every leper or give sight to every blind person or feed every starving child.
We don’t know why He met some needs and didn’t meet others. And we don’t know why God does what He does today. Some He heals, some He doesn’t. Some He feeds, some He doesn’t. Some He provides for, some He doesn’t. (Maybe He’s waiting for you and me to be the answer that He uses to meet their suffering!).
Just because we don’t understand the reasons for the actions of an omniscient, omnipotent God don’t mean that there aren’t any.
Those answers lay in the infinite wisdom of God.
But to accuse God of being unloving or impotent in the face of evil is to ignore the question of sin and to assign blame where it does not belong.
God is neither unloving nor weak.
Stay in the Word