Weekly Devotional 4-15-24 Does God Work That Way?

Concerning hardships accidents, pain, illnesses, sorrows, storms, and even death, I have heard some say; God caused this or that to teach us something, test us, or grow our faith. Still, others have said, God prevented this or that (such as being involved in an accident), but does God work this way? We live in a two-dimensional world, the physical realm, and the spiritual realm. As to the physical realm, catastrophe struck when Adam disobeyed God and took of the forbidden fruit. As a result of that disobedience, God cursed the earth. That curse opened the door to deterioration and eventual death of all living things. We read from Genesis 2:8-10 and 2:15-17: “8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil….15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”

We know from the account (Genesis 3:1-7) that Adam did take and eat of the fruit and died toward God spiritually in the instant that he took of it. But also, physical death was commenced in him, not immediate death but a progression of death. We also read that because Adam disobeyed God, God cursed the earth. Consider Genesis 3:17-19: “17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” Pain, sorrow, hardship, and physical death were/are resultant of that judgment.

The first thing we read about after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, is Cain killing Abel (Genesis 4:1-15). Then jumping ahead a few years, we read that man, following the desires of his fallen nature and the enticements of Satan (who is at war against God, and man), turned their backs on God, becoming so wicked that God destroyed them all except eight persons. He did this by causing it to rain torrentially for 40 days and a breaking up of the earth’s crust, which allowed trapped waters to gush forth. this changed the topography of the planet, causing continual shifting of wind currents (the jet stream), extreme fluctuations of temperatures, and a weakening of a protective layer (the ozone layer) that protected man from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Eight persons survived the flood, however, they had the same fallen nature that possessed their fallen fellows and history witnesses to what that fallen nature has produced, i.e., adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.; (see Galatians 5:19-21). These things cannot be laid at the door of God but at the door of fallen man.

Something else followed Adam’s disobedience; To a certain extent God removed His protective hand from man. This opens the door to the depraved nature of man and what he many times does. It also allows Satan to bring all sorts of harm upon man. A Biblical example of this is the sufferings of Job. (I suggest that you read the Book of Job). It is true that hardships, pain, illnesses, sorrows, storms, accidents, wars, and even death are indirectly a result of God’s cursing the earth and man, but does He inflict a person with these things? We need to be careful in making such a claim. God may use these things to bring about His purpose, but cause them, I think not. An allowance of God, yes, but not God’s direct cause.

As to God allowing these things, He has a purpose, the purpose of creating in man the desire for relief or even more extensive purposes. If everything were without calamity, man would not consider God, as he ought. Thus God permits these things as He wants to be considered by man, but more than that, He wants to be worshiped by man. To accomplish this, God allowed/allows the calamities mentioned above. Consider, however, that before His creation of the physical world, God planned to intrude into that world with the glorious purpose of restoration. Thus, in a sense, there are two parallel kingdoms, the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of heaven. All persons are born into the temporal kingdom-the kingdom of this world, which is ruled by and subject to the powers of spiritual darkness. The second kingdom, however, the kingdom of heaven, is a spiritual kingdom and can only be entered into by a second birth, a spiritual rebirth. (See John 3:1-8). When one is born into this kingdom, he becomes a changed person. However, the physical world in which he lives does not change, man is still subjected to accidents, hardships pain, illnesses, sorrows, storms, molecular breakdown, and even death. But remember, even though God does not directly cause these things He uses them many times in creating a new desire, a spiritual desire in man. Thus, the allowed calamities.

The natural man (unredeemed man), which is all persons before spiritual rebirth, has no real desire of God, in truth, man is alienated toward God. But God, because of His love for man, creates that desire in man, and He does this in numerous ways. The Holy Spirit witnesses to man of God’s goodness; God witnesses to man through nature about His Person. But He also allows accidents, hardships, pain, illnesses, sorrows, storms, evil and even death to cause man to want relief.

For some, those who will recognize and turn to God because of these various testimonies, a new creation awaits him. Consider  Revelation 21:1-14: “1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

It seems to this writer that God is not the author of evil or tragedies but, He uses both to populate the above-mentioned new heaven and the earth with those who turn to Him during the dispensation in which they lived. Hallelujah.




Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man


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