Monday, July 23, 2012

Going Deeper for the week of July 22, 2012

Last week's tragedy in Colorado leaves us with questions.  How could this happen?  Where was God?  etc.

Anytime evil is perpetrated these questions come up.  Do I have complete answers?  No.  None of us will fully understand the problem of evil in light of the sovereignty of God.  However, I do want to reflect on a scriptural truth that can hopefully offer some comfort, or at the very least frame the discussion.  Again, I will offer my thoughts and invite you to offer yours.

Yesterday, the sermon text was Psalm 146.  In verses 7-9 we see a description of the things God does because He remains faithful forever (see verse 6).  In verse 9, the psalmist says, "The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but He frustrates the ways of the wicked."

Those words might be hard for us to read following such an awful tragedy, however, they also ring true and bring unspeakable comfort and hope in the face of this menacing evil.

Did God frustrate the complete diabolical plan of this young man?  Obviously not.  There are 12 people  dead and several others wounded to show that He did not.  Nevertheless, there are also other details coming out that demonstrate the hand of God "frustrating the ways of the wicked" in the midst of the chaos of that night.

First, there was the young man who turned his head just a split second before a bullet entered his neck narrowly missing vital nerves which would have left him paralyzed.

Second, there is the man who was shot in the neck, but the bullet barely missed his carotid artery allowing his life to be spared.

Third, there is the lady in the apartment underneath the suspect's own apartment, which had been wired to explode as soon as anyone entered the door.  Hearing the loud music she went up and knocked on the door asking him to please turn down the music.  In her frustration she discovered the door unlocked.  She was about to burst in, but at the last second "something" told her not to go in.

These are just a few evidences of the LORD frustrating the ways of the wicked.  The young man who perpetrated these heinous acts had even bigger plans for the pain he wanted to inflict, however some of those plans were frustrated.  There is no telling how many more people would have been killed if his apartment bombs had been detonated, or his bullets had found their awful mark.  

All in all this is an awful tragedy.  I do not in any way want to minimize it, nor do I want to say this was part of God's plan.  Evil is never part of God's plan.  However, I do want to affirm that these few incidences of the ways of the wicked being frustrated cannot simply be chocked up to coincidence or fate or chance.  These incidences of frustration are the work of an almighty God who was at work that horrible night frustrating the ways of the wicked.

I invite your thoughts on this as well.  What do you think?  Where was God?  How do we deal with the  reality of evil in light of God's full sovereignty?  Let's discuss.

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