Does God Still Right Wrongs?

16 Jan

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Even in the darkest hours,

the light of God’s love shines through.

Throughout the Old Testament, we hear the Hebrews beseeching God to save them from their enemies and to overcome the powers of evil. It seems, at times, as though they are challenging God to prove he is still the God of their Fathers. At other times, they try to make him feel guilty with charges that he has forgotten them.

In our own age and in our own world, we suffer from tremendous pressures, challenges and, often, a sense of helplessness. How cope with the onslaught of natural disasters plaguing the entire world – floods, hurricanes, fires, diseases, droughts and volcanic eruptions?

How regain that sense of security we had in America prior to the terrorism of September 11, 2001? Can we have any confidence that our government and allies can stem the tide of growing numbers of freelance and organized terrorists?

Any sane person seeks to understand what God is saying by permitting what we call these “signs of the times.”

We may feel compelled to ask God to intervene with his mighty power, as Isaiah wrote:

Oh, that you would rend the heavens

     and come down,

     with the mountains quaking before you,

As when brushwood is set ablaze,

     or fire makes the water boil!

Thus your name would be made known

     to your enemies

     and the nations would tremble before you.

While you wrought awesome deeds

     we could not hope for,

     such as they had not have not heard

      of from of old.                                                               

                                         (Is 63:19b-64:1-3a).

But then a few verses later, the prophet reminds the Hebrews and us that we have not been faithful to the Lord:

     Would that you might meet us doing right,

              that we were mindful of you in our ways!

              all of us have become like unclean men,        

               all our good deeds are like polluted rags;

     We have all withered like leaves,

              and our guilt carries us

              away like the wind (Is 64:4-5).

I do not for one second believe that God punishes us by causing natural disasters or inciting war between nations.

I do believe we punish ourselves in that we have forsaken the Truth and thereby lost the power of persuasion. I also believe we have raped our natural resources and caused an imbalance in our climate.

And, indeed, I do believe that God still rights wrongs – but he chooses to do so in and through us: In us, as we become more and more open to his love and will; through us as we embrace the mission of Jesus Christ by bringing the message of his salvation to everyone in our lives.

Perhaps the worst of all “natural disasters” is how we have all but discarded the divine for the merely human, and set God aside in favor of our own feeble minds and imaginations.

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