How Could A Loving God. . .
Lately, I’ve come across some unbelievably, atrocious stories in the news. I have been in shock and deeply disturbed of the ways in which evil manifests. There was one story in particular that I came across that truly broke my heart.
********You can find the story below, but I WARN you that the content is very GRAPHIC and a lot for the heart to take. If you cannot bear it please don’t click.****
It’s a devastating story of a father and step-mother who tortured their 7-year-old child daily. The father abused and murdered the child and because he could not take the smell of the remains any longer, the father went out and bought pigs and fed the child's body to the animals. The stepmother documented everything, so the news article included the pictures. THIS STORY ALONG WITH THOSE PICTURES BROKE ME. My heart began to cry out to God.
The tears couldn’t help but pour out. . .the questions couldn’t help but flood in. . . God's conviction couldn’t help but overwhelm my soul . . . and praise couldn’t help but overflow from my lips. . .
One of the main questions that popped into my mind was the universally asked question that most people wrestle with in their hearts. The thinking would usually go something like this:
How could a loving God allow a 7-year-old child to go through such heinous, gruesome, horrific torture and murder? How could a loving God let something as evil as that happen? An innocent child? That is not a God of love. I just can’t believe in a god like that!
Many people who have seen hurt people and have experienced hurt themselves, which includes a huge portion if not all of humanity have grappled with this question.
My encounter with the child's pain and suffering and the effects of sin challenged my perception of God. The way we all as human beings live out our life is according to our relationship with God or lack thereof and according to who we perceive God is. When we look at God through the lens of sin, evil and pain we get a distorted view of God. If we don't know the truth or we don't use the truth that we know about God to fight against the lie, then we begin to believe the lies about his character. We even can begin to believe lies about his existence which then informs everything else we decide to do.
So, when the enemy (the devil) planted this question of doubt in my mind I was able to shift my focus from that horrific circumstance to the truth of who God is.
HERE’S THE TRUTH THAT ANSWERED THAT QUESTION.
First, God was nowhere near pleased with a 7-year-old child being tortured, murdered and fed to pigs in fact, he HATED it.
Proverbs 15:9 ESV The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
Psalm 7:11 ESV God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
Romans 1:18 ESV For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Psalm 5:4 NLT O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
Psalm 7:11 NLT God is an honest judge. He is angry with the wicked every day.
Second, God is a just and a righteous God. NO SIN and EVIL GOES UNPUNISHED. So when you hear of God’s wrath in the bible it’s ALWAYS just because he is a righteous God.
But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.
For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.
Third, the simple answer TO the question iS. .
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
THE FULL ANSWER:
God is love and he cannot deny himself. He created this world knowing we would sin against him, yet he was ready with a plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. So, all the moves that God does or doesn't make are through the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. We are all sinful beings with hearts turned against God. We ALL fall short of his glory and there is NOTHING we could do to make it up to him. There is NOTHING that we could do to save ourselves from God’s impending well-deserved wrath of eternal death — an eternal separation from a good, holy and righteous God No matter how many animals we sacrifice and no matter how many good deeds we do, we would not be able to pay God back. So, God humbled himself and came down to earth and became a human like us and lived a sinless life, a life that we were supposed to live and died the death that we were supposed to die and he became a sacrifice for the sins that we committed. He paid the price and penalty for our sins through the blood shed on the cross and three days later he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven to sit on the throne where he belongs. Because of such amazing grace, God offered the gift of salvation and if we repent and turn from our sins and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we will be saved. God will come in and change our hearts.
So the real question is…
How could God send down his only begotten son to save all who believe in him from eternal death? How could he? because He is a loving God and that is what love does. Love sacrifices for others.
He loves us that much that he would reconcile us back to him through Jesus Christ.
So the sin of those parents and of those who knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it will either be paid for with eternal death or if they accept the grace and mercy of God —that is offered to all humanity — by making Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior, then their sins were already paid for by a loving God who wanted to reconcile them back to himself because he loves them and he wants what’s best for them which is eternity with him in the new heaven and new earth.
And that is why my tears of sorrow and pain turned into tears of joy and praise.
Because I'm so thankful for my loving God.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."