By Janet Weaver Smith – Â©2012 Gardenministries.org
Why does a good God allow anyone to murder young, innocent children?
Could-should God have prevented the Sandy Hook school shooting or other random, public shootings? Why doesn’t God protect our children from these unspeakable acts of harm? And furthermore, why is a massacre of 20 children and 7 adults in a middle-to-upper-class American neighborhood any more horrendous and reprehensible than when a single child or adult or a small group of people are killed in an inner city ghetto? Doesn’t everyoneâ€”rich, poor, and middle-classâ€”deserve to grow up in a safe town, a safe school, and a safe neighborhood? The more questions we ask about a situation, the more expanded our problem-solving process becomes and therefore drives a greater realization of what the real and lasting solutions are.
Why do the big massacres get more of our attention than single murders?
Murder is a horrendously villainous crime whether it happens to a single child or adult or a group of people, of any ethnicity, any social status or genderâ€”in any American or non-American small town or big city neighborhood. When shock and trauma occur, anyone who believes, or wants to believe that God exists, may ask these kinds of questions.
What one person can do to affect change and why more laws are not the best way to affect change.
Let’s ask these questions responsibly. Let’s look for answers that call each one of us to a greater level of responsibility and look for answers that give each of us a legitimate course of action to follow to affect change instead of just looking for some one, some law, or some policy to point our finger at and blame for all of our problems. Laws don’t change people’s hearts and character. They only serve to draw a line in the sand and describe what happens to people who cross that line. We need the kind of change that grows people up from the inside out into responsible, compassionate citizens who aren’t attracted to breaking the law to get attention and using evil to make their mark in the world.
So why doesn’t God protect our children from these heinous acts of harm?
The Bible makes it clear that taking an innocent life is murder and anyone who commits murder is to be justly punished. God is against murder. His Word, the Bible, makes that clear. So how can a good and just God “allow” murder in the first place? And if He is against it, why doesn’t He prevent it from happeningâ€”especially the large-scale massacres and holocausts?
God is not a coercive Dictator. He is a loving God who gave us free will.
The answer lies in the realm of sin, evil, and free will. When God created human beings, He gave us a free will. This means that we have the freedom to accept or reject His invitation to believe in Him and to obey His moral directives. If God did not allow humanity freedom to choose or reject Him, He would have to govern as a coercive Dictator, and not as the loving, servant-hearted God He is. God originally created earth with the intent that mankind, who was created in His image, would righteously govern the earth in union with His heart and in step with His goodness and loving kindness.
People either love God or they don’t.
By giving humanity the ability to freely choose God and His goodness, or to choose selfish and evil indulgences, God takes into account that there will be those who exercise their free will to indulge sin and evil and He relates to all of us within this contextâ€”that some are with Him and some are against Him. That some are His people (His family) and some don’t want to be His people.
There is a bigger picture to God’s plan. There is hope for our future.
The good news is that ever since sin and evil entered humanity when Adam and Eve (Genesis 3) used their free will to disobey God’s moral directives, God fully implemented His plan to redeem and restore humanity. He declaratively prophesied that His Divine Redeemer would come to earth as a human man, would die, and would be raised from the dead, and thus, by this act of profound love and sacrifice, this Redeemer would serve as humanity’s Savior and Restorer.
We can live in a world where good things happen more than bad things.
The Bible says that until the end of time or until the end of a person’s life, God provides redemption and restoration to all those who accept God’s Redeemer, who believe in Him and obey Him; that those who receive God’s gift of redemption are given a way to stop sinning and indulging evil and are forgiven and cleansed from the evil effects of sinâ€”like receiving a renewed mind. The Bible also tells us that this Redeemer’s name is Jesus and through the wonderful, working power of His indwelling Holy Spirit, we will become more and more like Jesusâ€”who conquered all evil, lived a sinless life, who is good, truthful, righteous, deeply caring, and compassionate. God also gave us His Word, the Bible, to help lead and guide us with instructions on how to live an upright life, filled with good, life-giving choices.
The simple truth isn’t too good to be true.
It may sound too simple or too good to be true, but it really isn’t. The truth is that if more and more people ask God to forgive and cleanse them from the evil effects of sin, and begin to love God by reading His Word, the Bible, and obeying His commands, and then love people as they love themselves; and if less and less people indulge in less and less sin and evil, hideous acts such as these terrible school shootings and large-scale public-space shootings will slowly decrease. Evil escalates when people choose to sin and indulge evil instead of choosing to love God back.
We either release God’s goodness or we release sin and evil. We choose.
Throughout history, it has been proven that every time anyone chooses to love and follow God and act in accordance with His principles as they are laid out in His word, the Bible, they release more of God’s goodness in the earth and the land that they live in moves toward healing and restoration. Conversely, history has also proven that every time anyone chooses to reject God and follow sin and evil, they release more evil in the earth. Which do we prefer?
â€¢ Psalm 10
â€¢ Psalm 9:12
â€¢ Ephesians 2
â€¢ John 10
â€¢ Galatians 1:1-4
â€¢ II Chronicles 7:14
â€¢ Exodus 20:1-20
â€¢ Numbers 35
â€¢ Mark 10:19
â€¢ I John 3:12
â€¢ James 2:11
â€¢ Matthew 7:24-27
â€¢ Matthew 25