By Joe Alain, pastor Hebron Baptist Church in Denham Springs
After the massacre of 20 children on Dec. 14 at a Connecticut elementary school, people are asking a familiar question, “Where Is God?”
Many look for answers and in moments like this, there are no easy answers. What we do know is that God is with the suffering. He identifies with the hurting.
When the President addressed the issue he quoted Psalm 34:18, a verse that reminds us that in times of trajedy, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Where Is God? He’s right where He has always been, in the midst of those who hurt and who are suffering.
The Nativity story in Luke 2:1-7 is a reminder to us that God and the hope He brings is often found in unexpected places. God chose to manifest His presence in a manger, probably nothing more than a simple cave with a feeding trough.
Neville Callam reminds us that wherever God dwells, there is His majesty. “We may discover that God is often found in unexpected places.” Where is God? He is in the midst of the darkness bringing light,he is in the midst of the suffering and pain, bringing hope.
Max Lucado noted that there was an eerie irony in the Connecticut tragedy coming just before Christmas, noting that the Bible says Jesus Christ’s birth was followed by an order from King Herod to slay boys under two years of age in the city of Bethlehem.
In light of the recent shooting, the pain expressed is palpable. A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more. – Matt. 2:18. Where Is God? He is right where He is always been and He is right where you are in your time of need.
But there is another question that the media has not and does not ask? And that question is not “Where is God?” but “Where is the fear of God?” It is the absence of the fear of God that gives permission for such violent acts to occur.
Without the fear of God, we are left adrift morally. We are our own moral compass, but the problem is our compass does not point true and, is in fact, warped.
Lacking the fear of God, today our culture is devolving to a state that is similar to the one described in the recurring refrain in the book of Judges. In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. – Judg. 17:6; 21:25.
Prior to the aforementioned anarchic assessment, we are given the real reason why it was occurring. It is said that after Joshua and his godly generation passed from the scene, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. – Judges 2:10.
Is it any wonder that many people today have no sense of morality? No conscience? Generations are growing up without God, without truth. There is no fear of God because there is no knowledge of God. And it is the fear of God that leads to obedience to God.
When truth is lost, men mock any accountability to a God they do not fear. We live in a culture of death, where there is so little respect for life because there is so little fear of God.
When a tragedy like what took place in Connecticut occurs, the first thought is that there must be some mental disturbance at work here. “Normal people do not kill scores of children,” we say.
Actually, in all cases like this, there is a mentally disturbed person, although still a morally accountable one. Obviously, a person who could gun down children is suffering some sort of disconnect, at some level, from reality.
The domino effect resulting from the absence of the fear of God is a disconnect from reality. Without God, without truth, without light, where else will you end up but in some state that is less than reality.
However, in Christ we are restored to our right mind, we are at peace with God and life has meaning, the darkness turns to light, and the self-hatred and hatred for others is replaced with love.
This is where the manger offers us abundant hope. For the Christ of the manger is the Lord!
In the babe in the manger, we gaze upon the God who redeems us from our fallen condition and empty lives. We see the one who is the way, the truth, and the life to all who will follow Him.
In the manger we see the One whom the angels proclaimed: Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:11.