Gideon asked this question after the people had been dominated by the Midionites.
- Job – Suddenly his possessions, family, and health were lost to him. He said why didn’t I die at birth
- Jesus – My God why have you forsaken me?
This is a universal question and it is how we ask and how we handle the answer. What is God’s purpose?
Some have the idea that God punishes all.
- Ex. 20:5 -Visiting (some versions say punishing) those to the third generations. But Duet. 24:16 – Children do not die for their father’s sins.
How are these reconciled?
- Ex. 3:16 – God says Moses should visit the elders with blessings
- Gen. 21:1 -God visited Sarah and she was blessed with a son
- Ex. 32: -Aaron had built a golden calf and their sin was visited on them.
- God doesn’t impute guilt from fathers to children. God shows loving kindness to thousands.
What happens when the sins are visited on the children? Innocent people are not punished, but they do sin.
God does not punish Innocent people.
- If the Israelites had stuck with God the Midionites couldn’t have conquered them
- Adam and Eve
- Job – Our troubles may or not be caused by our sins
Suffering may be a blessing in disguise (often very well disguised)
- Joseph- Genesis 50:30 -He saw the actions of his brothers as a means to a blessing. God does not cause people to sin, but he uses people’s actions to accomplish good.
- Esther – She was asked to plead for the people. Mordicai said how do you know your position is just for this purpose?
James 1:2 -Count it joy to be tested by God. God disciplines us out of love.
- Phil. 4:13, 19- Paul said he could do all things through God. God will supply all our needs.
- 1Peter 5:6-8 -Humble yourself and trust God.
- Acts 8:4 -Those who were scattered preached the word – Their persecutions were the means of spreading the good news
Illness – Paul asked and realized it was a blessing
Death – God looks at death as a precious thing.
Maybe we worry overmuch.
War – Man has free will. We can’t know about our blessings and our trials. Job is our example in his refusal to blame God. It is hard in time of grief to look at the hopeful but, the difference between hope and despair is God.
–Travis Allen, 2-21-10, a.m.