Monday, December 17, 2012

Where Is God?

I am so tired of people either asking in the face of tragedy, where is God, or stating that we have forced, escorted, legislated or “kicked” God out of public venues. It is one thing to view and hear the ignorance of the unconverted pagans in our land. It is sickening to see and hear the ignorance of those who profess to be “born-again believers.”

Let me say six things loud and clear:

First, no one has kicked, legislated, escorted or otherwise forbidden God from being anywhere. God is as much in every public school, every courthouse, every public building whether Federal or State origin as He is in heaven.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. (Psalm 139:7-12)

There is no place that God is not. God is everywhere. God is everywhere at all times and at the same time. God does not have to go anywhere because God is and has always been there. That includes public schools. That includes public, Federal or State buildings. God is and was just as present at Sandy Hook Elementary School as He was present in the heavens.

What you fail to grasp is that the problem is not that God is not “present” or has been “kicked out” of many public arenas, it is simply that He is not honored or reverenced as He demands and deserves. Failing to recognize God as God is not the same as having the sovereign power to kick Him out of any place.

Second, why do we think God is responsible to prevent or minimize tragedy? The real tragedy is that we expect God to respond as a “Genie” or as some good luck charm. We don’t want God to intrude in our lives unless it is to prevent pain, suffering, or discomfort. God’s role is not merely to keep us from tragedy; at times it is to orchestrate tragedy. Listen to Amos 3:

“…does disaster come to a city unless the LORD has done it?” (Amos 3:6b, ESV)

There are times God in His infinite, Divine, and Sovereign wisdom orchestrates or permits such things to happen. What kind of God do you think He is? Do you think He able to show up at our picnics, and birthdays, and pleasant affairs giving us glittering goodies from a bag of tricks but unable to stop a twenty two year old from killing twenty six people?

There is at least one glaring, huge, and spectacular purpose for the events in Portland Oregon and Newtown, Connecticut. We find that purpose couched in the words of Jesus in Luke 13: 1-5:

There were some present at that very tine who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’” (Luke 13:1-5, ESV)

Some of you will say, “Well, if that is God’s attitude then we don’t want anything to do with a God like that!”  This is why you make no room for God nor honor Him as God most of your lives, yet when tragedy strikes you want to know where He was.

Third, there are no “innocents.” No one is innocent, no not one. Children are no more innocent than you or I. They are born with a depraved and sinful nature. There are some who believe that God’s grace extends in some manner to children and exculpates them from the penalty of their sin. There is no such thing as an age of accountability. All are accountable to God as all have been born into Adam’s race with guilt, sin, and are spiritually dead. Although I have no scripture to offer, I truly trust in the wisdom, grace, mercy, and glory of God which would cause Him to exculpate children who die or are killed.

I cannot give a biblical passage to any of the grieving parents, relatives, or friends of the children killed in these shootings. I can only say trust God to act in full accordance of His Holy, Righteous, Divine, and glorious character and nature believing that whatever God does is righteous. See Psalms 97 - there is certainly clouds and "thick darkness around God and what He does at times"; but our confidence comes in the fact that the foundation of God's sovereign rule is righteousness and justice. That means God never does anything wrong. God never makes a mistake or acts unjustly. 

Fourth, it is incredulous and incongruent if not preposterous to think that a nation can disregard and dishonor God as the United States has done and not see the fruit of such actions. The United States is reaping what it has sown. This nation has chosen to ignore God and His Word and to live according to the despicable dictates of the flesh.

“Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:4)

My friend, you cannot place your hand in a viper’s pit and expect not to be bitten by a deadly snake. You cannot expect to reject God’s law, live as sinfully and sensually as you wish and not expect consequences.

This nation has been extremely successful in changing wrong into right, into relieving everyone and anyone of all responsibility, and has excused bad behavior. This nation has turned from the Light of this world and chosen to remain in the darkness that it so loves.

My friend, it will only get worse. You can say “God bless America” until you are blue in the face, but God has answered. He has ceased blessing us with bountiful blessings. This nation has always, like any other nation, been preserved by the salt of believers and the influence of the Holy Spirit. This nation is a rotten, decaying, stinking piece of meat that is being preserved by the presence of believers during this age. As fewer people are being saved and as believers die the effectiveness of this preservation of this rotting carcass is becoming less effective.

Sixth, Sixth, we must reach out and become the hands, the feet, the mouth, and the heart of Jesus to those who have been viciously devastated in places like Portland or Newtown and demonstrate the love of Christ. We must witness to the resurrection power of God through Christ to those who are hurting. We must weep with those who weep. Those of us who know Christ need to help in every way we can. However, that help must be real and substantive not symbolic through silly and mindless pictures, poems, and unbiblical principles. Christians, don't show your ignorance. Show your compassion with wisdom by showing the true Christ of the Bible.


jean said...

Amen, Gregg! I said some of the same things to a relative and got lam-blasted as a basher of the US. But, I know the Lord has already won the battle!

Scott said...

Very good thoughts. I think we have to be careful with number three. While it's true, in the midst of a tragedy it may not be the best time to forcefully state it. Still, there will be no real change until we wake up are realize these things.

Josh said...

Amen on number six especially - this is how we make use of the opportunities God affords us, as the partakers of the only true hope in this world.

Pat Donovan said...

Amen I agree with all and it needs to be said so the whole world can here. that means every beleiver saying it.

Yvonne's World of Poetry said...

Amen Gregg I great post well written.