Israel is often called the “Holy Land,” and for good reason. From Abraham to today, God has been at work in this tiny land for his glory and our good.
But try telling that to an Israeli man in Haifa, the country’s northern port city. He petitioned the Magistrate’s Court for a restraining order against the Almighty. The petitioner claimed that over a three-year period, the Lord exhibited a very negative attitude toward him. The report of the hearing did not give details of the divine malfeasance the man claims to have experienced.
A multitude of spokespeople made themselves available to speak for the Lord. The Defendant, however, was apparently not asked to testify on his own behalf. Presiding Judge Ahsan Canaan denied the petitioner’s request, stating that the applicant needed help not from the court but from other sources. Indeed.
Does God seem less benevolent than you would like him to be today?
Prince now appears to have battled addiction to pain medications before his untimely death. The mayor of a town in Canada where a wildfire has been raging out of control calls the conflagration a “multi-headed monster.” Warplanes struck a camp in Syria, killing more than thirty refugees. Four toddlers shot themselves last week.
For days when the world makes you question the love of God, consider two facts.
One: This is not the world God designed.
In the pre-fall Garden of Eden, there would have been no addictions, natural disasters, wars, or tragic accidents. But the sin of mankind led to the fall of God’s creation into “bondage to corruption” (Romans 8:22). We can blame God for the world he made, but since we broke what he designed, the fault is not his but ours.
Two: God has not abandoned us.
Even though we turned our back on our Maker, he has not turned his back on us. He sought Adam and Eve even as they hid from him (Genesis 3:9). His word has given us transforming principles for abundant living in a fallen world. His Son left the perfection of paradise to enter our pain-riddled world and bear our sins on his sinless soul. His Spirit now indwells us and longs to lead us in God’s perfect will (Romans 12:2). As Jonah discovered, when we run from God, we run into him.
No restraining order can keep our Father from his children. He loves you, and there’s nothing you can do to change his heart.
As regular readers know, C. S. Lewis has long been my theological mentor. Let’s close with this observation on God’s unconditional grace: “No creature that deserved redemption would need to be redeemed. They that are whole need not the physician. Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for, to make them worth it.”
Because you weren’t worthy of Jesus’ death, you are.