Is God good?
This seems to be the question asked today in the wake of the senseless shooting in Colorado this week. I've seen it on blogs, facebook, and on the news and it always makes me a little sick to my stomach whenever this question comes up and well meaning people on TV actually TRY to answer it.
To an unbelieving world it is an impossible question to ask. All the answers sound like foolishness to them. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing". We cannot expect those who do not have the Holy Spirit to understand the things of God. Therefore we cannot watch the news and be angry with those who blast the well meaning Christian on some talk show who is trying to answer one of the hardest questions there is.
The problem comes when the believers start questioning the goodness of God in the wake of evil. Yesterday this question echoed through my mind throughout the day, almost a plea from God to give me an answer that makes sense. And, for me, an answer came. Not quite the answer I was wanting, all packaged nicely with a bow on top, but an answer nonetheless.
We have forgotten who God is.
The prevalent watered down gospel has turned God into something that was created for us. We have been led to believe that God exists for our happiness. He wants us to be happy, healthy, financially stable, and live the Christian version of the American dream. God is safe and tame. This is the will of God for our lives.
Yes, for someone who has come to faith in the "God" above, a tragedy like this would rock that faith in a heartbeat. The problem is, that "God" is not the God of the Bible.
The "God" above completely forgets the entire Old Testament and most of the New. It forgets the ways that God used to bring his people back to him in the wilderness when they continually did evil in His sight. Forgetful of the the fact that God is concerned with the big picture, with the sanctification of his people even if it means heartache. Does He love us? Absolutely! Will he use any means necessary to sanctify us? I believe so. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The Lion of Judah has NOT been turned into a declawed fluffy house cat.
When Isaiah saw the Lord in Isaiah chapter 6, did he stand in the midst of that terrifying display and raise his hands smiling and shouting "Yes, Lord! I knew you loved me!!!"? NO. He fell on his face terrified at this awe inspiring God, fearful because he was an unclean man.
All that to say this: how do I know God is good? Because of mercy. Because I am not in hell right now, where I (and all of us) deserve to be for our sins against him. And really, I need to go no further than just that. But I will. Because even though I do not deserve it, my every day needs have been met by HIM. Because even though I am a broken and messed up vessel, he still chooses to use me and pour into me.
Because on a dark night in July, 12 people died in a horrific event, but it could have been hundreds. He could have thrown poison instead of smoke. He could have used one of the many bombs they found in his house. He could have not told the police about the booby traps at his house and many more people would be dead.
There is an enemy, people. I think we forget that too. The fluffy gospel of today leaves no room for a prowling lion seeking to destroy us. The enemy has been turned into an irritating gnat that causes us to miss the good parking spot at Walmart.
We are a schizophrenic people, on one side raising our hands in worship to a God who is mighty to save and on the other waving our fist at him when life doesn't make sense.
God is God and we are not. We will never fully understand His ways, His ways our higher than ours. I don't want to worship a God I can fully understand, there would by no mystery in that, no Holy "otherness".
Is God good? Yes, because He repeatedly tells us HE IS, and God cannot lie.
Linked up with: The Better Mom, Miss Elaine-ous Life,