Christian Challenges

What Have I / You Done To Deserve This?

This is a very common question that people ask. We all seem to think that there must be some correlation between doing bad thing and evil befalling us. This is not just common amongst Christians but non-Christians too.

Take any serious disaster like volcano, tornado / hurricane / cyclone, severe flooding, or earthquake where a lot of people are severely injured and some are killed - and we hear that it was an "act of God" over and over again. Then we hear rumblings around Christian communities about why God brought these disasters upon these people, usually pointing out something that they have done contrary to God's Word.

This attitude we have is not something new. It was well established way back in the time of Job, who I believe was a contemporary of Moses (The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 3 p. 490). Job has just lost his children, most of his servants, all his flocks and herds, and was then struck down with boils. Job's friends told him to confess his sins because he must have done something wrong for God to be punishing him like this. (Job 1, 2, 8:1-22; 11:1-20.)

It was still around in Christ's day. Jesus and his disciples came across a blind man one day. The disciples asked Jesus who sinned - this man or his parents - that he was born blind. Jesus replied that neither had. (John 9:1-3.)

Yet in Isaiah 53:4 - 6 we read:

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:

yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Jesus Christ, the only perfect person who ever walked the face of this earth, was wounded and bruised for our mistakes and sins. Yet we esteem or regard him stricken and smitten or troubled, afflicted and injured by God?

How dare we? Who are we to put blame onto Jesus Christ for what happened to Him, when in fact we are the ones to blame for His despicable treatment. We who have turned our backs on God by sinning, we who have chosen to serve a master other than God, we who like sheep have gone astray, we who are poor, blind and naked and know it not - how dare we blame an innocent party?

Yes, this world is cursed because Adam disobeyed God and chose Satan as his new master. Yes, all sickness, death, destruction of life and property, and the eating of meat by mankind and animals, can all by simplified down to blaming Adam's sin, because it is Satan's rule that brought all these things to this world. Yes, those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, will be blessed and freed from this curse one day (1Thess. 4:16, 17). Just as surely as those who don't accept Jesus Christ will be punished in the lake of fire one day (Rev. 20:14, 15.). However, this will not necessarily be the case before Jesus Christ returns and every eye shall see him coming (Rev. 1:7).

However, when an individual or community suffer a major disaster or illness, it does not mean they did something wrong that caused it. To blame people in this way is cruel and causes them even more, when they are usually going through enough as it is.

As Christian we need to remember to be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God is Christ forgave us. We need to live our lives more like the second commandment that Jesus gave us - love they neighbour as yourself.

Going back to the story of Job, we find near the end of the story that God condemned Job's friends for questioning his loyalty to God. God commanded them to make sacrifices to Him via Job least He kill them for what they said. (Job 42:7-9)

So as Christians we should heed what God said to Job's friends and when we see disasters, sickness, troubles and death, let us comfort the suffering and help relieve it in any way we can. This is what God expects of us. This is being a true Christian.

© S. D. Goeldner

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© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2020. Last updated February, 2020.

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