Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.” (1 Samuel 22:17)
Think of a time when you were stunned by the depravity of humanity. How did you sort through your feelings about the situation?
Stories of man’s depravity are only a headline away. A child burned to death with a 6000 degree welding torch. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack during a showing of the Batman movie. A mother stands trial on charges of killing her seven-week-old daughter by placing her in a microwave oven and letting her burn to death. A man desperate to avoid paying child support murdered the child and the child’s mother a day before he was scheduled to take a paternity test.
How can you make sense of such heinous crimes? Any person with an ounce of moral sensitivity is outraged by the injustices of our world.
God is NOT the author of tragedy or evil or death. It’s true that God did create the potential for evil to enter the world, because that was the only way to create the potential for genuine goodness and love. But it was human beings, through our free will, who brought potential evil into reality.
What have you learned from tragedy? What’s one of the best explanations you’ve heard for its existence in our world?
I am always amazed how God can take the very worst circumstance imaginable and turn it into the very best situation possible.
Do you remember the shooting at the West Nickel Mines School? Charles Carl Roberts IV took hostages and shot ten girls (aged 6–13), killing five, before committing suicide in the schoolhouse. On the day of the shooting, a grandfather of one of the murdered Amish girls was heard warning some young relatives not to hate the killer, saying, "We must not think evil of this man.”
An Amish neighbor comforted the killer’s family hours after the shooting and extended forgiveness to them. Members of the Amish community visited and comforted the killer’s widow, parents, and parents-in-law. One Amish man held Roberts' sobbing father in his arms, reportedly for as long as an hour, to comfort him. The Amish have also set up a charitable fund for the family of the shooter.
If these people could reach out during their own personal tragedy to the man who committed such a heinous act, then I have much to learn about placing my trust and faith in God so that I can gain God’s peace.