It seems as though we cannot even go one month without a major tragedy striking our country or our world. This week, it was the tragedy of the loss of the Egyptian airliner; last month, it was the anniversary of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. A few years ago, it was terrorist activity in a luxury hotel Mumbai, India. Last month, it was terrorist activity in Israel.
If we were honest, we would admit that we are overwhelmed and distraught with the amount of destruction, terror and evil that seems to permeate our society. Even for the staunchest optimist, questions arise about evil and suffering.
If one is afraid of earthquakes, one can relocate from California, only to find that the weather elements in the new environment can provide more destruction than an earthquake. One wonders if one can even attend a movie without wearing a flak jacket. I must admit that I took it for granted for all of the public venues that I have gone to in the past year, I did even think about facing a terrorist situation. This even included the time spent in Israel this past year and in past years.
People often ask after these horrendous situations occur, “where was God in all of this?” “God, where are You?” “Why did You allow this to happen?” For many of us, we will have to get the answers to these provocative questions in heaven. However, the Bible does give us some answers. God has given man the choice to either follow and obey, or disobey and pay the consequences. We as humans, with our finite minds, will never be able to understand our infinite God. How can we stand in the place of judgment? Often times, what we think is hopeless, is just another opportunity for God to show His miracle working power and bring forth wonderful results.
When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase. – Proverbs 28:28
When I hear about the destruction that man brings upon another man or child, I want to hide. At times, I want to take the ostrich position and just put my head in the sand and forget about all of the pain in the world. However, I know that this is not the heart of God.
One of the most encouraging passages in the Bible is about Elijah in 1 Kings Chapter 19. Elijah was despondent and depressed. He had just faced the mighty victory when God showed up for him during the confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Read about this mighty victory and miracle that God gave to Elijah in I Kings chapter 18.
We know that the mountaintop feeling of victory does not last. How quickly the depression come upon Elijah. He finds himself depressed, fearful, alone and running away. Do you ever feel like Elijah? I do, probably more often than I would like to admit. He stated to God “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”(I Kings 19:4). He slept and an angel appeared to him and encouraged him to eat, which he did. He slept again and the angel came to him a second time and told him to eat. He then traveled forty days and forty nights in the power of that food and rest.
Elijah came to a cave and the word of the LORD came to him saying “what are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9) Elijah replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” (Verse 10)
Elijah’s cry is our cry. LORD, we have been zealous for You, O God of hosts! Man has forsaken Your covenant, man has trampled Your name. Only we are left and the enemy seeks our lives to destroy us!
The LORD then had Elijah go stand on the mountain and a great and strong wind came. I cannot even imagine how Elijah was able to stand during those times of strong wind. It must have been like a tornado wind. The wind actually broke the rocks. Yet we are told that the LORD was not in the wind. Then, an earthquake occurred. We are told that the LORD was not in the earthquake either. Fire came and it must have been worse than any of the California or forest fires that we have seen as of late. Yet the LORD was not in the fire either. Finally, all that was heard was the sound of a gentle blowing (verse 12).
We must be encouraged to note that the LORD is not in the tornadoes or the hurricanes or the fires or the terrorist activities. We live in a fallen world and God has given us the choice to either follow Him or do our own thing. However, even today, the gentle blowing, the still small voice is there, louder than ever. The still small voice is the peace that the first responders give. The still small voice is the prayers of the saints, interceding for those who have faced dire tragedy and suffering. The still small voice is the care that the doctors and the nurses and the triage specialists give to the suffering. The still small voice is God’s booming voice, calling out to His children to pray, to care, to intercede, to love.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Messiah Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Messiah Yeshua Jesus. – 2 Corin. 1:3-5
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