Where Is God When Tragedy Strikes
As the horror of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut continues to unfold (December 2012), we are once again faced with the painful question, “Why did God allow this to happen?” Where is God when tragedy strikes? It is commonly believed by most people who believe in God, that because He is “all mighty” and “all powerful”, that His failure to act when tragedy strikes, makes Him actively or passively responsible for not preventing the tragedy from occurring. In order to cope with the staggering contradiction of a “loving God” who allows terrible things to happen in our world, many well meaning men of the clergy try to console us with words like, “It must have been God’s will!” or, “God works in mysterious ways, we don’t always know why He allows things to happen, but we must have faith that He has a higher purpose!”
Fortunately for all of us, neither of these statements are true, because if either of them were, it means we are dealing with a God who has stacked the deck, and is nothing more than an all powerful puppeteer, much like the gods the Greeks and Romans worshipped.
So why then, if God is “sovereign” over all creation, does He not interfere when terrible things are about to happen on planet Earth? Why did He allow the Holocaust? Why does He not prevent devastating hurricanes or tornado’s? Why does He allow children to die at the hands of a mentally deranged psychopath? The list of “whys” goes on and on.
In order to understand the answer to this question, we would have to be willing lay aside the traditional, though flawed explanations, that we have been so willing to accept as true, when we know they raise more questions than they answer.
The answer to all the “whys” concerning God’s failure to act the way we think He should in certain circumstances, lies in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis.
In the account of the creation of our world, we find that God purposed to transfer sovereignty over the Earth and everything in it, from Himself to the human race.
“Then God said,:
“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:26-28 NKJV)
Definition of sovereignty – the state of being free from the control or power of another.
Related Words: emancipation, enfranchisement, liberation, manumission.
The Bible also tells us that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29) This means that even though mankind fell from grace in the Garden of Eden, the sovereignty that God gave to mankind over the planet and over all of human affairs remains to this day in the hands of each and every one of us, God did not take sovereignty over the planet back when sin entered the world. In giving our race a free will, as well as dominion and sovereignty over the planet, like it or not, the buck stops with us. God remains blameless concerning the good and evil that impacts our daily lives, because we, not God, create the good or evil that occurs on our world. Does God have the raw power to interfere and stop terrible things from happening? Of course He does, but only at the cost of breaking His own word; and as much as He is saddened by much of what goes on here, this He cannot do. What happens here is on us, not on God.
God’s love for us is beyond our understanding. When we suffer, He suffers, when we weep, He weeps. Yet the Bible tells us that God has placed His Word above His name. In the end, it is not about might and power. It is about the free will of man and what we, as the sovereigns over this world choose to do with it. It is unfortunate that the righteous suffer at the hands of evil men. Soon, God will put an end to evil and to all evil men. Until then we should not hold God accountable for what the sovereignty of men have chose to do with it.
By V.P. Valentino -Copyright © 2012