Vengeance, indignation, burning anger and jealousy. These are some of the words the Bible uses to describe God’s reactions to this present evil world. To put it mildly, God is not happy. Can you blame Him? Look at us – look at what this world does, what it stands for and how we treat one another! God will not allow such sin and corruption to continue. He will act and when He does, there will be no mistaking His response. The Bible emphatically describes what look like world ending events – these events are called “The Day of Vengeance,” “Armageddon,” “The Time of Trouble,” “The Day of Wrath”… So wait! We are always talking about God being a God of love – how could this vengeance of God possibly be interpreted as an act of love? Is God so vengeful and angry that He is going to squash us like bugs or is there another way to understand what His vengeance is, how it works and what it accomplishes?
History does repeat itself. Sometimes in its repetition we can see the heartbreak of the transgressions of the past repeated in the present with an even deeper and more insidious result. Look around you and what do you see? Shootings, stabbings, bombings, race riots, gangs, rape, murder, genocide; Black lives matter, police lives matter, all lives matter but what does it matter? Politicians lie, people lie and so many lie unnecessarily in early graves. Save the whales, save the schools, save the planet, save the children, but save them for what future? Muslims against Christians, Christians against other Christians, and seemingly the world against Judaism while the Atheists say, "I told you so." Women's rights, animal rights, civil rights, gun rights, LGBT rights - so many rights, but everything still seems so wrong. The world has become dangerous and angry. Their clamoring for peace is drowned out by the ever increasing clamor of violence. Where. Is. God? Does He hear? Does He know? Does He care? Has God completely lost control of our world?
The Ebola virus. War between the Palestinians and Israel. Iraq being plundered by ISIS. Christians in the middle east being persecuted and killed. Worldwide anti-Semitism on the rise. The tenuous problems with Russia and Ukraine. In our country – lawlessness on the southern border, Government scandals over the IRS, the Health Care system and Benghazi, a skyrocketing National Debt… Shall I go on? It certainly seems that chaos and unrest are spreading faster than ever before. What should we be doing? Should we be afraid?
There are many views of the character of God. Some see Him as angry, wrathful and impatient, while others see Him as just, loving and merciful. Whatever your viewof His character, it is certain that we live in a world where things are NOT fair and people by the MILLIONS suffer for things they did not do. So, what does that do to our understanding of God? If He is all powerful and all wise, why does He allow such injustice, suffering and chaos? Has God abandoned us? Has He forgotten us? Does He even care about us? Did God make mistakes with His creation – did He create a world that “got away from Him” and now it’s too late to change things? Stay with us as we look into the myriads of difficulties in our world and try to understand where God is in all of this. Should we forgive God? Is it even our place to forgive God?