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Sunday, September 30, 2012

How Do You Explain All the Bad Things in God's Creation?

Our church has several different prayer lists. One of these lists the people with cancer. It is the longest of the lists. In fact, it is the longest list I have seen in a church our size.

Many of these people will stay on this list for years. Some will be dropped because they die. Most people want to keep their names on the list even if their cancer goes into remission. The fear that it will return is constant.

Do you ever wonder why God allows cancer to remain in His creation?

I know I do.

Yet, I remember something that I can't escape. We live in a fallen world. This world which was created good was corrupted by sin. Sin invades all that is good. It brings trouble to all of God's creation. Sin has brought this difficulty to us. A fallen creation rife with sin can bring terrible times for those who know or do not know God. It bears no prejudice.

I think a lot of people think that God cursed the ground because of Adam's sin. I believe that creation itself was cursed because of Adam's sin and not because God pronounced a curse. It is like the wife who says, "You have damaged our marriage," to the husband who has been caught in adultery. She is merely making a statement of truth. Her words do not make it true. They simply acknowledge the truth. (And for those of you who wonder if this applies to the woman's pain in childbirth the answer is yes.) Sin brought a corruption to the earth. It no longer worked in harmony with God. It works on its own now just as sin has caused us to work.

Jesus said that we would have trouble in this world. No one should be able to doubt that we have. Yet, He was not causing the trouble with His statement. He was acknowledging it.

So, there are cancers and hurricanes and car wrecks and tornadoes and all sorts of evil which is not directed toward us but exists because it is simply a fallen world.

Asking whether God could stop all this evil is like asking if He will stop all the evil I will do. The answer is that He could but that He doesn't. He allowed Cain to kill Abel. He allowed David to commit adultery. He allowed Judas to betray Jesus. He allowed me to commit a myriad of sins throughout my life. He allows the world to continue in its corrupted state.

Yet, I do pray for those with cancer, heart disease, and any other thing that has brought them trouble. Sometimes God intervenes. He heals, He provides and He works miracles both before me and in my absence. Still, most ofthe time His creation simply continues in its fallen state. It often takes the lives of those for whom I have prayed.

Jesus, after stating that we would have trouble in the world said, "But I have overcome the world." That is a comfort to me. Ultimately, I will see a fallen creation receive redemption.

But for now, I continue to pray.

Genesis 3:17 (NIV) 17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

John 16:33 (NIV) 33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


high-expressions said...

Perspectives rightly put.

I have failed to particularly put it, in the way you have said it, that it was NOT God who cursed the ground when Adam and Eve sinned, but it was God stating a fact, when I wrote about the subject several years back. I can receive that, but just as along the line of perspective you rendered in the body of your entry, I still believe God could have done something about it, had He wanted to, but He would leave it cursed, visa-vis creation, particularly, men, in my view, as a punishment for men's sin. But why?

In my article (found on my blogsite, written some years back) on this subject, I expressed that it was due to the demand of holiness (God's holiness) just needed to be satisfied. Actually, Adam and Eve could have been killed immediately (that was what God said, “You will surely die”), but they did NOT; meaning in God's mercy, God had allowed Adam and Eve to continue on, in life (and so, it too, was a mercy for mankind), and it was from that life that mankind could continue on. My revelation was that some form of chastisement must still be rendered. The demand of holiness of God was satisfied by the leaving of the ground cursed, and so, men had and have to toil for their food. It was indeed, still men who brought upon themselves, the cursed situation of having to toil for their food (a scenario that was quite different from the pre-Fall time).

The holiness of God has her own intrinsic demand, otherwise, holiness has no real meaning!

It is indeed a redemption story - the works of our Lord, Jesus Christ; His coming and dying on the Cross and His resurrection. And it is clear, NOT so clear to many, but by the grace of God, to me, NOT all aspects/dimensions of the redemptive works of Jesus is full, in our earthly life (I talked about 3 aspects of redemptive works of Christ, in one of my articles, on my blog). There is no fullness of redemption in respect of the body of men; full redemption comes only when we have died and arose with incorruptible body. That is the way God intended it to be, with the redemptive works of Jesus. No one, absolutely no one is able to live his mortal life forever.

John 6:33 fits very well in channeling how we should view our mortal lives in connection with such things as the presence of troubles and afflictions of life for even the believers or children of God while they live (earthly life). If any reader is interested, he/she can hope over to this article of mine, on my blogsite, to read about "stressful troubles, how". This article is a compilation of my 2 comments against 2 entries of Ps Prentis posted here several months back. It gives a picture that there are troubles, but not necessarily that, troubles are to be stressFULL to you. The article prescribes the best way to minimise stressful troubles, but there is no short-cut, though. The link is this:

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Prentis McGoldrick said...

I fully agree with you. God would not intervene in the fall because of His holiness. Thus, He stated what had happened. But this did not leave God without a plan.
His plan was for Jesus to crush Satan's head and redeem His creation. This is how valuable the spilled blood of Jesus is.