“Why?”. I have heard it many times in the last week as hurricanes slam into people in the gulf and Caribbean. I have heard it as I watch news coverage of multiple wildfires which seem to be burning the entire northwest, as well as parts of other western states. I have heard it as I pray for a child battling cancer. And of course, on 9/11, I hear it today.
I don’t have any issues with the question–it is a natural question for people who don’t know the answer. But I wonder–where are the people with the answer? Why are internationally known ministers on talk shows being asked the question and answering “There are things we just don’t understand”?
You see should understand, because there is an answer. It is clear. It is obvious. And any student of scripture knows it. But we don’t want to hear it, and we certainly don’t want to be the one to say it.
You see, the answer to “why?” is us. We sinned, and God judged. In some cases, this means we simply experience the direct consequences of someone’s sin–such as the attacks on September 11, 2001. The terrorists decided to commit murder, and did. So, there were victims. But the question is still asked, “Why does God allow this?” Just as with natural disasters, the answer is simple: God judges sin.
When humanity fell, all creation fell with it. The Genesis account describes how creation was set against humanity as part of the curse–the judgment against us for sin. In Romans 8:19-22, Paul explains that creation itself awaits the resurrection to be delivered from this judgment.
To the secularist, this seems fantastic–fantasy. They mock us for believing in creation (this is another post–but I maintain belief in creation is more rational–even scientific–than the alternatives being taught today), and are amazed that anyone could believe in a cosmic judgment on humanity and creation. But they have no answer to that haunting question: “Why?” On the other hand, all of us know we are sinners–none of us is perfect, or even “good”. We are just different shades of “bad”–tainted by selfishness and sin. If Adam hadn’t sinned, we would have–and creation would have suffered the same set back as a result of our sin. So sin is a reality. Why would we be shocked that this reality comes with consequences?
Why is this important to know? Because there is an answer to “Why?”. And, knowing that answer, we need to respond. We need to tell others, and to own our responsibility–for our own sin, and for the sin of humanity. Only then can we understand the problems of pain and evil. Only then can we turn back to God and be reconciled–as He wants. Only then can we live differently. Only then do we become part of the solution to the world’s suffering, instead of part of the problem.