On a Fall Friday night my sophomore year of high school I was where I usually was; playing with the band at a football game at Kiggins Bowl. Those were good times. The team stunk but the band was a blast. Most of the people at the game were, of course, high school students. Young, energetic, healthy, with the whole world and the rest of their lives in front of them. One particular Friday night new began to spread about a car accident involving a student outside the stadium. As it turns out, a particularly well known senior was hit by a car while crossing the street to get to the game. He died on the scene.
He was thought of by all as “one of the good ones”. I’m sure Job was thinking about his own kids as he wrote these words. I bet, though, that at the same time Job’s kids died, and at the same time that student died, there was some homeless person, one whom most of society had written off, one who had “bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity” also died. All of these people were buried and began to decay.
The young, the old, the successful, the poor, the influential, the nobodies, we all have one thing in common; we all die. Whether in this life we were rich or poor, influential or invisible, it doesn’t matter. Only one thing matters; did we know Jesus? More importantly, did Jesus know us? As it has been said, death is the great equalizer. The only thing that can tip the scales in our favor when this life is over is Jesus. If we can keep our eyes on that and let that determine how we live despite our circumstances, our brief lives here will result in eternity with the Father. And we might just take a few people with us.
God has given us government to help provide structure, order, fairness, and justice in our society and culture. But when we look to our government for structure, order, fairness, and justice apart from God, we don’t get provision from them, we get consumed by them.
For a time in the history of God’s people, he provided prophets to speak for God’s word of exhortation, correction, instruction, and blessing. He also provided priests to serve the people in having encounters with their God as well as instructing them in His ways. But when we look to spiritual leaders who do not know the one true and living God, we get uncertainty, we get deceit, and God’s ways are trampled underfoot because they are, at best, inconvenient.
The only One who can be the source for structure, order, fairness, and justice is God. The only One who can be the source for certainty, morality, holiness, and truth is God. Jesus came as a living incarnation, a living representation, a living reflection and example of all of those things that come from the Father. He came to show us what they look like and then told us to do them in the power of His Holy Spirit, without Whom it would not be possible.
You’ve heard it. I’m sure you’ve asked it. “If God is so loving, why doesn’t He (fill in the blank)?” “If God is so loving, why did He allow/cause (insert horrific event here)?” 1 John 4:10 is in good company with such verses as John 3:14-17 and Romans 5:8.
See, God shows His love on His own terms, not ours. When we ask “why does/doesn’t God” we are putting ourselves in the position of judging God Himself and how He has chosen to demonstrate His love. If it doesn’t meet our criteria, if it doesn’t counter the hurt we are feeling, then God is unloving.
The fact is that God shows, proves, demonstrates His love toward us undeserving, corrupt, unrighteous sinners by sending His Son to die and pay the price of our sin for us. The question we should be asking is, “If God is such a jerk, why would He send His Son to die for a wretch like me?”