Truth is Truth

"You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me." - Psalm 40:11 This is a sometimes monthly column concerning the truth of Christ Jesus and the issues that face our world as published in various newspapers and journals by Pastor Dave Seaford. You can return to the home page of the church by going to:

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Location: Redway, California, United States

Friday, September 23, 2005

Why God?

Why 911 and Why Katrina?

Martyn Lloyd Jones suggests that the only way that we can make sense of such evil on the part of man and nature is to take the “long view.” What he means by this is that it is difficult for man to have anything other than an “on the scene” perspective of reality. But that in order to reason to an all good, all powerful and all loving God, when faced with such events, we must observe the reality that “on the scene” is not all that exists.

There is in reality two other dimensions that we must in someway understand, even if we can not see into them directly at any given point in time. These dimensions are the “behind the scene” perspective AND the “beyond the scene” perspective.

A good way for finite man to get a handle on these omniscient realities is to read straight through the book of Job. The first several chapters are a clear look “behind the scene” of Job’s life. This is the spiritual reality that was taking place before and during all of Job’s very real problems “on the scene.” Here we see the influence of Satan and his demons on the lives of good and noble people. We see a conversation between God and Satan concerning Job and we also see clearly that Satan had no access to touch this great man of God, before God gave him limited access to Job’s life.

In the middle section of Job we see the “on the scene” view and in the later chapters we find the result. That result is the “beyond the scene” view.

One of the interesting things about the conversation “behind the scene” is that Job has no idea that it is taking place. His life has been blessed by God and lived for God and now is about to be challenged and tested for the Glory of God. While many American Christians would say that this just does not seem like God was fair in allowing Satan this access to Job. We forget that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The purpose of this admittedly terrible trial in the life of Job seems to be exactly that – the glorification of God!

In addition to those things finite man can not see going on behind the scene, we must also realize as Christians that there are things that we can not see “beyond the scene.” This “scene” in essence is the scene that is to come. It is our future that one day will be our present. It is the reality of tomorrow that is predicated and built on the reality of today. Many times the omniscient God, seeing tomorrow as clearly as we see today, will ALLOW Satan to intervene in our lives, through other men and in nature, in order to set events in place that while now devastating in the “on the scene” perceptions of man, WILL ultimately end in our good and His glory.

But what about all the suffering we see in Job and in today’s world. Would a good and loving and all powerful God allow such destruction of lives? The very direct answer is that many times God will allow such things in our lives because He prioritizes our long term good above our present comfort and our present pleasures. He prioritizes His glory over our preferences and further He prioritizes our spiritual growth over our increased balance sheet. In short He has a very much larger perspective of “good” than we do and many times, as a result of the fall of man, a very different definition of “good” than man does. We need to remember that this is how Eve got into trouble in the garden. She determined for herself what was “good” and she set the priorities concerning her own godliness when tempted by Satan.

Today, we have no less trouble than Job did determining reality beyond the “on the scene” view. What we must do as Christians is realize that there is also a “behind the scene” AND a “beyond the scene” view that God has already seen and already provided for considering the greater good. He alone has this perspective and while that may not help us comprehend it all at any given moment in time, it should help us apprehend the truth that God is sovereign, and still has His glory and your good clearly in His control.