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Centre Daily Times Clergy Column for March 26th, 2011

Is God sovereign over everything or not?
Centre Daily Times Clergy Column for March 26th, 2011

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When crimes are committed, we look for the guilty party.  When a major malfunction in a space shuttle kills our astronauts, we investigate to see how the accident happened.  We feel compelled to probe our bad experiences in order to “get to the bottom of it” and determine what went wrong and why.

Someone should investigate why an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear catastrophe all occurred simultaneously in Japan.  It sounds like a conspiracy.  A 9.0 earthquake is unbelievably destructive.  Then add a tidal wave and several leaky nuclear reactor cores and one is tempted to wonder if Someone is angry.

Many of our woes can be blamed on evil people seeking power and money.  Much can be blamed on ineptitude or greed or nothing more complicated than sheer hatred.  But who is responsible for a tsunami?  How does one investigate the acts of “Mother Nature”?  Unless we’re willing to say there is no God, and I for one am not, then the prime suspect in this is the Almighty.

A Japanese official in the UK was asked to respond to the devastation of the tsunami.  He said he was “humbled and in awe of the power of Nature.”  But it is not mere impersonal “Nature” that should humble and awe us.  Ultimately, it is the power of God that has either caused or allowed every natural calamity that has ever happened.  The Scriptures tell us, “The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains; the world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1).

Many people will say, ”A good God would never do such things.”  Then what kind of entity is responsible?  An evil god?  Satan, or someone like him?  A good God who, unfortunately is occasionally asleep at the wheel?  Or some combination of the above?  Or no entity at all?  We need an investigation to get to the bottom of this.

The Bible says because of the pervasive sinfulness of mankind, God destroyed the entire world on one occasion except for eight people.  He torched the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, with only three survivors.  According to Scripture, it was God who killed all the firstborn of the people of Egypt during the Exodus.  God caused the fortified walls of Jericho to collapse and only a prostitute and her family were spared.  In Isaiah, the Messiah returns from Edom with blood spattered on His garments from having trampled His enemies in His anger.  In Revelation 20 we read of the future annihilation of all the armies of the world in a single event, by God.  All this because of sin.

Because of sin, we live in a suffering, fallen, painful and deadly world.  For that reason, we should be humbled and in awe of the power and wrath of a holy God.  Thankfully, because of love, there is an out.  Jesus Christ was sent into the world for humble and repentant sinners so they might call upon Him, receive mercy, and be saved from the wrath yet to come.

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