Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Devotion - Wednesday, September 12

As Hurricane Florence approaches the coast, I happen to be reading my way through Job.  

Job is all about why bad things happen.  The opening scene does involve permission being given for Satan (one of only three times in all of the Old Testament where H'satan is personified) to afflict Job.  But the remaining chapters, which are long and tedious reading, delve more deeply into why evil comes into the lives of those who God favors.

The answer to these questions differ; and each of these differing answers are biblically and theologically defensible.  Most Christians fall into one of these responses and never think to consider one of the alternatives.

Some will say, "It is all part of God's plan." Others will insert, "God chastises those whom God loves."  "Free will." is another of the replies.  And so is "One reaps what one sows."

This particular hurricane season I am hearing more about global warming and greenhouse gases and our use of fossil fuels.  The response to the horrors of what may be considered more frequent and more powerful weather events is being attributed to the way in which humans have abused the ecosystem.

I don't know whether your talk with others will end with "Is the game going to be rained out," or if they will include asking "Where is God in all this?"  But in case you do find yourself in the latter, give it some thought before hand.  Examine your thoughts and convictions.  Read Job.  Talk with me.  And if you are looking for a good read, this is the book I love to give folks:  Encountering Evil: Live Options in Theodicy.

Above all, pray for those who are in the path of Florence.  (I sent a note to MUSC, College of Charleston, Citadel, and Coastal Carolina campus pastors that we would gladly house any students needing a place to stay - maybe you could offer a couch for a few days.)

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