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Last week we witnessed the unthinkable: thousands of Bostonians, along with thousands of others from around the globe who were gathered to partake in the Boston Marathon, experienced the horror that accompanies a terrorist attack as bombs exploded near the finish line. The graphic scenes are forever burned into our mind, along with the uneasiness that causes us to think, “Could this happen where I live?” After all, who would think of a marathon being a target for terrorism?
The question many have when these atrocities take place is “where was God?” After all, was he not privy to the events leading up to the explosion, even the thoughts and intents of the terrorists themselves (Acts 1:24)? The question that naturally follows is, “why does he not stop such events from taking place to begin with?”
These questions are natural for finite humans to ask. After all, we are not endowed with the divine attributes of omniscience, omnipresence or omnipotence. We are created beings limited to what we can experience in time and space; and God exists outside such limitation; that is, not until the birth of Jesus.
Over 2,000 years ago, in the small, backwater Judean town of Bethlehem, God did enter time and space. So much so that prior to His birth he was confined to the womb of the Virgin Mary for nine months! He lived on this earth for some 33 years prior to his unjust execution at the hands of the Roman authorities, being spurred on by the Jewish religious leaders (Acts 2:23).
What, you may ask, does this have to do with the tragic events in Boston? It has to do with the questions of “where” and “why.” Where was God? The same place he was when his sinless Son was being put to death for trumped up crimes that were tried in a kangaroo court. He is in the same place he was when he was pouring out his unabated wrath onto his sinless Son to atone for the sins of all who would trust him by faith alone for salvation. God has not moved; he has not changed. His purpose has not been altered.
God is the sovereign Creator, but mankind has incessantly rebelled against Him (Romans 1). We have disobeyed his Word and, as a result, we live in a fallen world. Sin affects every part of our being. It’s only the common grace of God on that restrains evil from being more rampant than it is (Matthew 5:45).
We will never make sense of the calamities that take place in this life; but we can have peace in the midst of these uncertain times (Psalm 4:8). This peace comes only through a relationship with God through the person and work of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Do you know this peace? Have you experienced his grace? Trust the Lord Jesus Christ! Repent and believe the Gospel today!
Brian Owens is an associate pastor with youth and children emphasis at Farmdale Baptist Church. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.