I’m only now getting to watch a programme that was on TV recently on the topic of “Tsunami: Where was God?” (You might be able to view it HERE but only if you live in the UK) The premise of the programme centered around how the presenter (who stated he was a Catholic) found the idea that a “benevolent” God would allow such a dreadful disaster to occur. He raised questions about how if God was good and if, as many of faith contend, such disasters are as a result of the fall, and if God knew that His creation would have to undergo such horrendous misery then why did He ever bother creating us in the first place?? While he, no doubt, speaks for a large volume of people, particularly those without a faith, I feel he shows that while he may have been raised a Catholic, he was never taught or never heard the proper teaching of scriptural Law and Gospel as they apply to mankind.
I’ve equally often asked myself why God bothered creating man, but not because he was doomed to misery and destruction, but more because we were always going to be so bent towards sin and rebellion against Him!! He has granted us the most incredible intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, and a constant thirst for information, yet with all of that, rather than acknowledge Him as our Creator and Provider, we’d rather turn on Him, deny Him, and ultimately try to tell Him we know better than He does! Much of this errant attitude about God is because we have long moved away from any true reverence of Him. Our Jewish ancestors and even many of those in Israel today have a much better attitude and. while it doesn’t prevent their nation from equally sliding into a humanistic secularistic abyss of their own making, it nonetheless shows us how we should view God.
David spoke often about his views of God in the Psalms and constantly recognised his miniscule position before an awesome and magnificent God:
Psa 8:3-4 When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have established; what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You visit him?
We have turned things around completely – rather than the creation serving the Creator, we instead consider that the Creator should serve us and do so, whether we acknowledge Him as such or wish to seek out the true purpose for our lives. The Westminster Catechism answers the question of why we were created very appropriately:
“Question. 1. What is the chief end of man?
Answer. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.”
When we only view God as some sort of benevolent grandfather figure in the sky – only ever seeking our “best life now” and just waiting for us to ask him for whatever our “felt needs” may be so that he can jump to attention and provide them, we are as guilty of idolatry and blasphemy as many of those in the Old Testament were and who died for their sin in being so. God’s Love stems from his other major attributes – His Holiness and His Righteousness – sadly attributes we, as imperfect human beings, rarely seem to grasp or appreciate. However, not being able to figure what they mean doesn’t take away from how they impact everything God is and does. It’s precisely because He does love mankind that He has done everything to ensure we have every opportunity to overcome the damage sin does in our lives, and grants us the ability to be restored into the relationship with Him that He intended us to have. His Holiness cannot look on sin and His Righteousness demands a price to be paid for it, so Jesus agreed to pay that price before the very foundation of the world was laid:
Eph 1:4 …. according as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love….
Truly what an Awesome God we have – yes, He is a loving God, but He knows that love alone isn’t all we require to enable us to live as we should, and thus as our Heavenly Father, he equally demonstrates that love through justice and discipline, always aiming to take our focus off ourselves and put it where it should be – on HIM!!