“My father died a few months ago.” As I said those words, the tone of a happy phone conversation suddenly changed as I spoke to a man that I had often encouraged to get right with God. He was never openly angered by my words; he actually seemed to enjoy my company, laughing at almost everything I said. I enjoyed his company, but at the same time felt frustrated that this man was no spring chicken, and death could take him at any moment.
When I mentioned my dad’s passing, he soberly said, “I’m sorry.” I quickly responded with, “Don’t be. It was nothing serious…(there was a deathly silence on the phone)…he was a Christian.” He then broke the silence with laughter, as though I had made some sort of joke. I continued, “I’m not kidding. Death has lost its sting. It is no big deal when a Christian dies.”
Words can’t express the joy (for want of a better word) I have in knowing that death has been destroyed by the Savior. I often pray that God would give me the wisdom to be able to make that message known, but at the same time, feel inadequate. I occasionally turn on a television and hear a well-known personality deal with life’s dilemmas, and am amazed at his wisdom. At the same time, I am amazed at my lack of it. I wouldn’t have a clue how to answer the questions that are asked of him. Then I hear blasphemy slip out of his lips and I am reminded that there is a wisdom of this world, and a wisdom that comes from God. Anyone who blasphemes the name of the God who gave them the ability to think, is a fool. He has the real brain matter, but lacks the brains in what really matters. The world’s gurus can tell you everything about this life, except how to keep it. How utterly tragic.
Who Holds the Key to Life?
Sir David Attenborough recently appeared on ABC’s “60 Minutes.” The famous and aging guru of evolution candidly spoke of his life’s achievements, but his tone suddenly changed when the interviewer asked him if he had faith in God. It seemed that he saw a few evolutionary problems when it came to the humming bird and the butterfly, but he deflected the issue by questioning the moral character of the Creator. He cited the African boy who was going blind because a worm was eating away within his eye. If God was the Maker of the worm, then He was a tyrant…He was guilty of a heinous crime against humanity.
The interviewer then asked him how the aging naturalist would like to die. Mr. Attenborough answered that it would be humiliating to die a slow and senile death, adding, “When I go, I hope to go quickly.” He then smiled and said, “I almost said, ‘God willing.’”
That is the bottom line. Sinful men may stand in moral judgment over a holy God, but He alone holds their breath in His hands.
The Real Culprit
What then should we say to those who question the ethics of God? The answer is to follow their line of reasoning until it takes them to the cross. The suffering child in Africa isn’t the only evidence in “the case against God.” What about the many American children who are dying of brain cancer? What about the hundreds of thousands of children throughout the world that are dying with other cancerous diseases? Who made the tornados that are ripping lives apart? Who created the killer hurricanes and the killer earthquakes? Who withholds the rain and causes droughts that result in the death of multitudes? A thinking mind goes further than the worm, and asks the question, “Why is there disease, suffering, and death…is something wrong?” Something indeed is wrong. There is a case to be built, and if it is built correctly, it will reveal the true culprit.
As long as man is left in ignorance of the Moral Law of God (the Ten Commandments), he will lift himself up onto his throne of self-righteousness and accuse God of crimes against humanity. However, when the Law is allowed to do its wonderful work, it shows that we, not God, are the criminals, and God is justified in all His deeds. When sin is seen in truth, one is left questioning the mercy of God, not His judgments.