One of the most difficult things for children to figure out, is that they are not the centre of the Universe. Though we learn to share our toys, we adults continue to struggle with a “me” centered perspective on the world and my circumstances in it. What if their was a larger reality? The question is “Why Do Bad Thinks Happen to Good People?”, which really asks, “Is God Good?”. Link to (intro), (part one).
Job, was clearly a “good person” (See Job 1:1). He didn’t deserve what happened to him. There can be no doubt that many nice people who suffer in this world, don’t “deserve” their pain. But a little contemplation into the subject of suffering begins to open up a whole new world. This new revelation calls us to ‘man up’. We have some heavy thinking and big decisions to make. There are two Realms at war.
Understanding this bigger picture of reality, our insight into the way the world works will change. We all live in a sin cursed world. When Adam and Eve were created, it was as Kings of the Universe. They were given “dominion” over everything God created (Genesis 1:30-31). The Psalmist reflects that in Creation, God “crowned him [mankind] with glory and honor” He “put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8).
Rebelling against God, these Presidents led their Dominion into war with God. All of Creation became the enemy of the Creator. We see the very same kind of representation in our modern nations. If President Obama declares war in North Africa, America is at war in North Africa:
Now, God in his mercy, has brought the war to his Creation, not to crush it, but to redeem it. God showed his power, in the way the UN might show power by an embargo. Rather than invade, an embargo seeks to deprive the nation of the means to rebel, or the resources they desire. This becomes the incentive to bring the nation back into conformity with the world community. In the same sort of way, God placed a curse on the world (Genesis 3), under which Paul states, “the whole creation groans”. Romans 8:20 clarifies, “creation was made subject to futility, not willingly, but by him who subjected it in hope” (emphasis added). The hope of the “Curse” embargo, is that it will make us aware of the fact that something is wrong in our relation to the Creator. And recognizing something is wrong, that we will cry out to him. If we call upon the Lord, he will answer: “all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved through Jesus Christ (Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13).
The Christmas Carroll Joy to the World states that the Saviour’s rule will result in a total redemption. When Christ completes his work, he will “no more let sin and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow far as curse is found” (see Revelation 21:4 and 22:3).
Contemplating this joyful expectation, we are still aware that our present expectations ought to include suffering. We continue under the embargo of Sin. Sin leads to suffering. Even good people are hurt by an embargo. Unlike the worldly example I illustrated, in God’s plan, we who suffer, but trust Him are not “truly” harmed. God, the creator of life, has the power to grant the life eterna (John 3:16)l! Death is not the end for believers, but the beginning of an eternal life which Newton describes: “when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace”.
So, here is the key question now. If our nation has declared war, and we contact the enemy who has embargoed us, and we take up his cause, what does that make us? The answer to this explains much of the world’s animosity to Christians. But behind that, and even behind Adam and Eve, is the great being who engineered the Fall of Man, and the rebellion against God–our enemy the Adversary. Job reveals how “good” people are sometimes caught up in the conflict. Watch for Part Three of this series of posts to explore the conflict.