I read with anguish and grief over another senseless suicide bombing at Lahore, Pakistan.
It targeted Christians celebrating Easter at Gulshan-e-Igbal Park. That explosion took away 72 lives, mostly women and children besides wounding more than 300.
I caught myself saying, “Why Lord?”
Why didn’t You shield Your people from this heinous attack? Why must the innocent die?
And the age-old argument of evil and suffering resounded once more. Is God is all-powerful and all-loving?
Perhaps He is all-powerful but not all-loving. Or could it be that He is all-loving but not all-powerful.
Incidentally that line of thought surfaced in the latest movie, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”
In the midst of my unsettling spirit and troubled thoughts, the words of Jesus came to mind.
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:4-7).
The Sovereign Lord tells us, “Do not fear those who kill the body. Do not fear the terrorists. Do not fear physical death. But fear the One who has the power to cast people into hell … “Yes, I tell you, fear him!”
Fear this all-powerful Lord who even knows not only the number of hairs on our heads but also the 72 who fell that day for they “are of more value than many sparrows.”
All the sudden I recall a hymn that celebrates the sovereignty of God.
The composer is Martin Luther. He wrote this hymn in 1527 when the church was facing the terrible plague and Luther’s health was increasingly deteriorating.
A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our shelter He, amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow’r are great, And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth is His name, From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And tho’ this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim — We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly pow’rs — No thanks to them — abideth:
The Spirit and the gifts are ours Thro’ Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
Believe in the Sovereignty of our loving Lord and no longer will you say, “Why Lord?” but “Thank You, Lord!”