How we should be judging when bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people by Pastor Don Moore
These notes come from a Bible study taught on September 2, 2011 after Hurricane Irene came through our area and caused serious devastation.
Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.
God protects us all. We can request a covering of protection by faith and pray, trusting God.
We can trust God for protection. We are within the context of God’s sovereignty. God is not a god of destruction, except when He brings judgment. When disasters strike, it may be that God is withholding His hand of protection and satan and satan’s angels do the damages. God is not required to protect what is outside of His will for man.
The secular news is always speaking about acts of God, but often it has nothing to do with God’s direct intervention, these are just acts of nature. There may be things going on in the sovereignty of God that we do not know or understand. A good example is the book of Job. When disaster struck Job, Job had no idea what went on in the heavenlies, he just knew what happened on earth. Job chose to stay faithful to God. Many of Job’s advisers assumed things about God’s motives regarding Job that weren’t true.
Are the current slew of disasters God’s judging of America? Maybe, maybe not. America is making decisions now that are contrary to God’s will and America will answer for it.
Some current prophets are speaking about impending judgment of God. We can pray, but some say it may be too late to pray and change our ways – things are already set in motion. It may be too late for the verse: 2 Chronicles 7:14 … if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
We must and should always pray, though.
We are the people of God, and we must begin to serve Him and His Kingdom. We are selfish and self-centered. We are concerned about our well-being. God can provide for those who serve Him.
In Genesis the Israelites sojourned in Egypt. They ultimately became slaves of the Egyptians. When the time was right, God judged Egypt for their treatment of the Israelites, and wealth exchanged hands. God amply provided for the Israelites when they left Egypt. While they were in the midst of their slavery, they may not have seen the Hand of God, but God was there working things out for the good of the Israelites.
Joseph was promised he would rule over his brothers, but he ended up as a slave in Egypt. He was also at one time a prisoner, but then, at the right time, God raised him up to be prime minister. In this role, when famine came to the land, the people gave up their money, their livestock, their land, and themselves to Pharaoh to be able to survive the famine.
In America, we are heading toward this path today. We are sacrificing our children’s future so that we don’t face discomfort today, running our country deeper into debt, and turning more and more of our power over to the government.
Recent flooding and storms are producing a crop shortage. We are already seeing corn shortages -as our food corn is turned into ethanol, and the fields are being flooded by unusual storms.
One of our members pointed out that there are many bombs and rockets being shot into Israel. Our country is not sharing this information with us. They are having a news blackout so that they can promote their anti-Israel policies. Our country is not supporting Israel, our best ally in the Middle East.
Rehoboam, son of Solomon, divided Israel by his oppressive polices until only Judah and Benjamin remained under his rule. When he took over after his father’s death, he refused to reduce the tax burden on the people. In his youth and inexperience, instead of listening to the wisdom of the elders, he chose to listen to his cohorts and ended up losing the land.
We have a similar situation in our country now – with Obama listening to those who sing the same song he sings, and not listening to wise advisers about what would be good for America.
How should we be judging the situation? – Everything bad that happens is a good opportunity for us to minister to others.
Matthew 13:18-23 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
We are to share the message of God, and when we share, some will receive the message, others will let it fall by the wayside, and others will let it fall on rocky ground and the cares of the world will choke out the message.
Pastor Don said IF (AND ONLY IF) these disasters are a testing of the United States of America,, if God is saying trust me. There will be terrible pressures on the land, on people and lifestyles, God may be seeing where people turn when things get tough. Do they hold on and exercise the Word of God? Do they blame God when things get tough? Do they think the Word of God does no good?
Where will you be when things get tough? Who are you trusting?
When people of God say that these disasters are acts of God, they are not saying that as an evaluation of the truth, but rather as a way to blame God.
People feel entitled. Perry Stone spoke in a recent TV message about the time from AD30 to AD70 (when the Temple was destroyed). In AD 60’s the people decided to revolt against Rome. This is mentioned in Josephus. There was a Jewish mindset that we are God’s people and, as God’s nation, we should rise up against Rome. Trouble was, God had not told them to do that. The end result was disaster for Israel.
We want God to protect and take care of us. People automatically say, “Thank God,” when things go good in their lives, but do they really know God? Many only know God in a casual way, so the good may have had nothing to do with God’s intervention in their lives. The moment something goes against their wishes, they no longer thank God or trust God, they blame God.
We are in a window of Judgment. If God allows disasters, what are we going to do with them? Sometimes good people get hurt in the disasters. If good people are saved, that does not mean they are better than others who got hurt. Sometimes bad people are saved in the midst of a disaster.
Are we going to make the same mistake Israel did in AD 60? Are we going to act the way we think we ought to, or are we going to listen for God’s guidance?
Sometimes, when disaster strikes, people pray for God’s assistance to rebuild. But maybe it is not God’s plan that a certain thing gets rebuilt. We need to be turning to God for direction in what we do in response to what is happening in our lives.
We ascribe to the blind theology of America the Great and God is with us. We are all God’s children, and God will spare us. Those who call themselves Christian will be the remnant saved.
This is not necessarily true. Yes, God will spare a remnant, but we may be presuming more about our relationship with God than is true. You can stand in a garage, but that doesn’t make you a car. You can attend church, but that doesn’t mean you have a knowledge and relationship with God.
Notice, in the above passage, the seed is planted in the heart and the wicked comes and snatches it from the heart. We have to keep our hearts safe and sound, not basing our hope in natural things, they’re just things. We still have to adjust our hearts and show compassion for other people. Many of us feel, if I got mine, it’s okay, but what will we do and how will we respond if what we think is mine is taken away?
Some seed falls in the stony places – it is received with Joy, then when a challenge comes, the roots wither and the seed does not survive. Some people lost everything, but if they have joy in the Lord, that cannot be taken away from them.
If they do not have deep roots in the Lord, when disaster strikes, they ask, “Why did God do this to me?”
Ann Graham Lotz spoke about that once during a TV interview when someone asked her why God permitted a particular disaster. She responded that, they didn’t want God before the disaster, so how can they blame God for not showing up during the disaster?
When trouble comes our way, how do we handle it? Will we do Christ’s work? Will we blame God? Will we help others?
The Bible tells us to help the brethren first, then others.
God will sometimes let stuff keep happening until we can’t fix it in our own power and have to rely on Him. When disasters happen globally, where are we in the midst of them? To whom do we turn?
Isaiah 34:1-2 Come near, you nations, to hear; and heed, you people! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world and all things that come forth from it. For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter.
Verse two says it all. No exceptions.
We need to keep praying our nation turns back to God.
We also need to keep praying for Israel. God is concerned about where we stand in regards to Israel.
Have a blessed day.
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