18 December 2012
Every sane American was greatly disturbed by the pathetic waste of human life
at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. What a terrible tragedy to innocent life by
the hands of an obviously troubled young man. Our first response is to weep over
the little children who so viciously faced such a cruel death. What a great loss of
potential life that is forever lost. But there are even deeper issues which shake
the very core of our souls. Here are three questions which demand our response.
1. Is there really a devil? Evil is more than a philosophy or theory. Evil is
personified in the person of the devil. Civilized nations act as though the devil
is just a figment of our imagination but when we are forced to look into the
innocent eyes of a child lying in his own blood; we are faced with the fact there
is a devil. Satan is just as real as God and we are no match for the devil’s cunning
evil devices within our own strength. The only way we can hope to overcome the
force of wickedness we face in this world is through a greater power, the power
of God’s righteousness.
2. The second issue that demands an answer is how could anyone commit such
a dastardly deed? The answer is the depravity of the human nature. We have
deceived ourselves into believing that we are good, and we are part of the time;
but there is a nature within our bosoms which without the grace of God is truly
selfish. People do things to people that animals do not do to animals. Where
does this come from? How can people do such things? The truth is mankind has
a selfish nature which only God can cure.
We tend to evaluate ourselves by comparing ourselves with someone who
shoots six year old school children, but I’ve been shocked to see Christians do
terrible things. I’ve had preachers lie to me, steal from me and try to destroy me.
Religious people can be mean. Where does this come from? It comes from the
human heart. There is a nature in all of us that is deadly unless we are willing
to die to our own selfish desires. Only the grace of Jesus Christ can change our
human nature into a godly nature which can be trusted.
3. The third great issue we are forced to face is how can a good God allow such
terrible things to happen? The truth is if God stopped men from doing evil we
would only be zombies doing what we were programmed to do. The only way for
us to learn to love is to also give us a power where we can learn to hate. We tend
to want a nice little god we can shape into our own likeness and who will serve
us. The truth is we cannot control God. God is the creator; not us. God is not a
puppet-god who only does our bidding. God is the Lord of the universe and will
hold us accountable for our deeds.
In C.S. Lewis’ classic story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when the
children are about to be introduced to Aslan the Lion they ask, “Is he a good
lion?” “Oh yes”, they are told. “He is a good lion but he is not a tame lion.” That
is true of the nature of God. God is good, but He is not tame. We cannot control
God. The best thing we can do is surrender our will to His, because He is more
righteous than we are.
What do we learn from the Sandy Hook tragedy? First, there is a real devil of
which we are no match for his destructive devices in our own strength. Secondly,
each of us has a dark side to our human nature. We can be good part of the time,
but not all the time. We need the grace of God to change us. And finally, we
learn that God has entrusted us with the awesome responsibility of managing
our lives. There is really a God and we will all give account to Him someday. We
should live today in view of eternity.