Thursday, September 01, 2005

God On Trial

I believe in the sovereignty of God. That is, God’s sovereignty is the attribute by which He rules over all of creation - and to be sovereign, God must be all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely free. I believe also in the goodness of God. A.W. Tozer says this about God's goodness:
    The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people. That God is good is taught or implied on every page of the Bible and must be received as an article of faith as impregnable as the throne of God. It is a foundation stone for all sound thought about God and is necessary to moral sanity. To allow that God could be other than good is to deny the validity of all thought and end ill the negation of every moral judgment. If God is not good, then there can be no distinction between kindness and cruelty, and heaven can be hell and hell, heaven. The goodness of God is the drive behind all the blessings He daily bestows upon us. (A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy)
Scripture clearly teaches both aspects of God's character. Yet, in times like these when great disaster occurs, is it not our tendency as men to put God on trial? We tend to attack one or both of these attributes of God. We cry "Look at these hurricanes! Look at these people suffering! How could God have let this happen? Is He really in control?" Or, if we do not doubt His sovereign control over a given situation, we are more than prone to put His goodness on trial. Who among us has never asked, in some form, "How could a good God allow this horrible thing to happen?"

It is only the frailty of man that feels either God's goodness or His sovereignty is somehow diminished by disaster. Did God know - even ordain - that Hurricane Katrina would wreak such havoc upon our neighbors to the south? Absolutely. Did He know all those people would be left houseless, possessionless, fleeing their homes for their lives? Yes indeed. Did He ordain each death, each loss of a child, a parent, a spouse, a friend? He foreknew every single one. But His sovereignty and His goodness remain intact. Our doubt takes nothing away, just as our belief adds nothing to them. His attributes need no defense, including this very writ. Everything occurring regarding this hurricane - from loss to life, from hatred to love - demonstrates the goodness and sovereignty of almighty God. Do we understand it? Hardly. But doubt neither His goodness nor His sovereignty.

We would do well to remember that we are not sovereign. We see only a few pieces of a canvas that stretches on beyond time, and with even the best of us, our sight is tainted by our own depravity. Our vision and knowledge is finite and limited. God's are not. Instead of putting God on trial, let us instead see through eyes of faith, ever trusting in His immeasurable goodness. Even if we do not understand, let us say along with the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah "Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love." (Lamentations 3:32)

    1 comment:

    Ms D said...

    thank you for visit my blog and i dont have many i get back to but they are my family now. i havent much time to blog but i get there sometimes. good to see god in your life. hope you and your family have many blessings today. have a safe weekend and pray for those in that storm.