God brings judgment upon the nations in many forms. One way is in the depravity of the people.
Psa 81:11-12 “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsel.
That doesn’t mean that each individual who suffers during such times is under special, particular judgment from God. Rather, God’s judgment upon the nation as a whole brings suffering to individuals.
Luk 13:1-5 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?
No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Do you still doubt that God brings catastrophes? He flooded the earth, destroying all of mankind except for Noah and his family. He hardened the heart of Pharaoh and brought plagues upon the Egyptians. He gave the Canaanites over to the Hebrews because of their wickedness. He brought terrible judgment upon the Israelites and their children in the form of famine, pestilence and conquering by brutal empires.
We know from the Scriptures that God deals with nations by bringing judgment upon them. Why not us?
Amo 3:6 Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?
Like us, Satan is a mere creature, created by God. He is not the equal and opposite of God, Ultimate Evil, engaged in an eons-long battle to rule all of creation – though he might like us to think so. He is a fallen angel, a rebellious servant of the Most High, doomed for all eternity.
2Pe 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment…
Can you really make a case from Scripture that Satan, a creature, can act outside of God’s sovereign will? Don’t you at least believe that God could stop terrorists and shooters if He chose? So how can you say that “Satan won”? Wasn’t God standing by passively with the power and authority to intercede?
In Job’s case, we see Satan wheedling very specific permissions from God. God Himself takes responsibility for Job’s trials, having granted Satan permission to bring those trials upon Job.
Job 2:3-6 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”
Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.”
And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”
Now: why does God allow these things to happen to good people?
First of all, most Christians would agree that we are all sinners, deserving of death. Our every breath is a gift from God.
But why do Christians suffer? Why do non-murderers so often fall victim to terrorists and tornados? What good came of the death of martyrs throughout the history of the Church?
Sometimes it is hard for us to understand God’s plan. We can’t always predict the results of a particular event, especially if it breaks our hearts and makes us feel as if our world is falling apart. But even in the hard times, we know that God’s Word is true. We know that good for God’s people will come of these things.
Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
HomemakerAng said, “Yes we deserve death and each breath is a gift but would you guys all agree to these same findings if, God forbid, you or I found our children dead at a homeschooling conference they were singing at or during our family worship service and that it was GOD that did this? I don’t think so.“
We have lost a child to stillbirth and experienced other tragedies and acts of violence within our immediate and extended family. We have many Christian friends who have as well. We have never doubted that it was God’s will, and that it was all for God’s glory and our good. On the contrary, we found and continue to find great peace and joy in knowing this. Our sufferings are not meaningless; God has a plan and He is working it out throughout history in each of our lives.
Why was our little Sarah stillborn? We were privileged to experience God’s grace, peace and comfort firsthand. We were reminded of the sanctity of life and the incredible gift of each precious child, the frailty of life, and our own dependence upon our Heavenly Father for every breath.
Did she die because we were wicked? No, but she did die because we live in a sinful world.
What good came of the persecution of the Protestants, Presbyterians, and Huguenots persecuted? Dr. Morecraft and my own hubby have a theory on that.
What good came of the death of Christians in the Roman arenas? The heathen Romans saw the strength of the followers of Christ and they feared, giving glory to God. The Christians fled to avoid persecution, spreading the Gospel throughout the civilized world. You and I were blessed by their deaths.
We can’t claim to understand God’s plan entirely, but whether or not we see the good we know it’s there. God is good, and we are His.
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.