Where was God during yesterday’s terrible slaughter of innocent children and teachers?
Some will be asking this with a raging hatred in their hearts. They despise the idea that there could be a loving and all-powerful God who would allow such terrible things to happen. They shake their fists at the heavens and say, “God – you are the one who is ultimately guilty for this horror. You are not good and I reject you!”
But what is their alternative? A world without God - just the continuing natural processes guided by the laws of physics, chemistry and biology. A world where human beings are just another animal and are not guided by real choices – only by biochemical/genetic determination.
If they were right, any particular behavior would be pre-programmed by the natural processes of nature. It is not a moral evil, only another messy step in the impersonal evolutionary process that determines who passes on genetic information to succeeding generations. Male bears will kill and eat cubs. A mother mouse might cannibalize her naked nursing pups.
So why the rage? Why not shrug and say, “How unpleasant, but that is the way nature works?” Why would you expect there to be anything different? Life has no ultimate purpose. It exists. It ends. There is nothing more.
But some of us ask the question with pain and sorrow in our hearts. We believe that there is a loving and all-powerful God, and that he has allowed this terrible thing to happen.
But we also believe that it is because God is infinitely good that such human actions are truly evil. It is God who has said, “You shall not murder.” It is Jesus who promised eternal punishment for those who harm little children (Luke 17:1-2).
We believe that this life is not the whole story – that conscious existence continues after physical death – that God can and will execute perfect justice. He will sort out the guilty and the innocent. He will render eternal punishment to those who deserve it, and provide comfort and eternal life for those who accept it from him.
Where was God during yesterday’s terrible slaughter? He was comforting terrified and dying children. He was preparing wrath against another evil rebel. God is still on the throne and God will prevail.
Those who are raging are not really offended by a lack of God’s goodness. They are offended by the repeated proofs that man is not good without God.