I wrote a piece about how I felt about the Newtown shootings the other day, but it was too early. While I totally agree with what I said, I know that I came across sounding like I was speaking for God and for Christ in that first workup. That is the last thing I want to do in light of this horrible tragedy.
There is a lot of finger-pointing going on. There are tons of questions being asked. Why? Who is to blame? What is to blame? I think what we have all tried to do is look in one direction when the answer lies somewhere else.
We need to look at ourselves. Individually.
Tragedy hasn’t just begun. It didn’t begin with Virginia Tech or Columbine. Tragedy has been with us from the beginning. When we look in the Bible, we can go back to that first senseless murder. Cain was to blame. The question that we don’t know the answer to is what did Adam and Eve think? Did they look back to that short episode in the Garden where they turned their back on what God had told them to do and what not to do? Did they look to their sin as being the problem? Did they go before God and repent again of that terrible day?
Job’s children were killed by a wind that blew their dwelling down. Did Job get a glimpse that this was more than physical death for his children, but a spiritual attack on him? We know what his response was: The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord. He had already prayed for them in case they had sinned in some way that would bring mortal death. We don’t know. Perhaps they had. Perhaps the only reason God was having mercy on them was because of their father. That much is not disclosed. We know that God took His hand of protection away from them. Satan sent a wind and they died. Job did not blame God, nor did he sin.
Later on, worshipers were slain trying to sacrifice and their blood was mingled with the sacrifices to God. A tower fell on some others who died tragically. Jesus was asked about these. He told those questioning Him that they needed to repent so that they would not perish.
Here’s what I am saying, if you haven’t guessed.
We need to look at ourselves. We need to see where our relationship with the Lord is. If we try to look deep into why this tragedy happened, we will never be satisfied. Nothing here on earth will ever help us. What we must do is go before the Lord. Confess our sins and failures. Repent. Move forward proclaiming the need of Christ in others lives.
Gun control isn’t the answer. Arming every citizen isn’t the answer. The only answer is the heart-change that comes from Christ.
Where have you looked for answers to the Newtown tragedy?
For the past couple of Sunday’s, I have discussed tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. One of the questions I think we should ask ourselves is why He would need to tell us this? Why do we need to taste the Lord? Why do we need to see the Lord? Why do we need to see that He is good?
I think it’s because that is exactly what Adam and Eve did not do. Their sin did just the opposite and brought sin into the world, their lives and ours.
First, let’s look at what God told them in Genesis chapter 2. He told Adam that he could eat from any tree other than the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, other wise he would die. In other words, he could taste of any tree but that one and see that God was good.
In chapter 3, the serpent attacks Eve very subtly. First, he questions God’s goodness. He told Eve that she would not die if she ate the fruit. So, he puts doubt into her mind whether God was good.
Next, Eve saw things differently. Instead of seeing that God was good, she saw that the tree was good for food. Before that hadn’t even looked at it in that way.
Finally, she ate the fruit.
Compare that to what God says in Psalm 34:8.
See that I am Good.
God reverses the order of what happened in the garden. God redeems the situation we find ourselves in.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
A few weeks ago I wrote this post about ways to taste and see God. One of the questions that has been popping up for me is this: Why don’t we taste and see Him? So I’ve given it a lot of thought for the past month and a half.
Here is a reason why I think we don’t.
We act just like Adam and Eve.
When we take a look at Genesis 3, we can see that Eve does just the opposite of what David tells to do in regard to tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.
Eve and the serpent are hanging out. They engage in some chit-chat. The serpent asks her if she can’t eat from all of the trees in the Garden. She says that she can eat from all of them but one. She can’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. She knows she will die.
The serpent then uses a pretty good argument. He tells Eve that she will be just like God, knowing good and evil. This is where the crack in Eve’s armor was. This is where she made her most serious mistake.
She saw and tasted the fruit. She saw an object of desire and she tasted it.
Do you see that? She did just the opposite of what the Psalmist says.
He says taste and see that the Lord is good.
Eve saw that the fruit was good for food and tasted it. Then she gave it to Adam and he ate.
Guess what happened next? They couldn’t see anymore. They couldn’t see God’s goodness.
That’s the way we are. We see so many things around us. We taste them. And we can’t see God.
God wants us to stop. He wants us to taste Him. Why? Because we will see that He is good.
He is looking to restore us back to the way we were before Adam and Eve saw and tasted.
He is looking to show us that He is good.
What ways could you make sure that you Taste and See instead of seeing and tasting?
It’s Twiterrific Thursday, where I write 140 words or less about a subject. Today it’s vacation.
I need a vacation. You might have seen me tweet that if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Yes, I need a vacation.
It’s been four years since I’ve really gone somewhere on vacation. I just realized that the other day. I don’t think that is healthy. Sometimes you just need to get away. It doesn’t count as a real vacation if you stay home and do yard work. Or anything else for that matter.
I think God designed us for vacations. Well, He didn’t call them vacations. He gave Adam and Eve and Israel a day off every week for rest. A day off to rest and spend time with God. Time for God. Time to rest.
I think that’s what our vacations should be. Time spent with God. Time resting. God and rest go together.
Do you need a vacation? Do you need to spend time with God? Do you need rest?
My son, Andrew, went to camp this week. This was the first time he really has spent a week away from us. Needless to say, he struggled some as the time to leave came (his mom and dad struggled a bit too).
It seems that the main reason he struggled was because he wasn’t going to be able to talk to us each night. He wanted to be able to speak to us, tell us he loved us and hear that we loved him. He wasn’t supposed to have a cell phone with him, but on the way he realized that his cell phone had service and he would at least be able to text us if he was sneaky about it. Unfortunately, this plan did not work well because his cell phone lost power. The last text his mom got said, “Phone dead.” It broke my wife’s heart and I can only imagine at this point how Andrew felt. His lifeline, his connection to us was lost. He was all alone. We were gone. He was on his own.
As I thought about this, I wondered if that was the way Adam and Eve felt after the fall? They had always been connected to God. They never felt apart from Him. He was their lifeline. They did not understand loneliness. They did not understand being separated from God at all.
What did they feel? Did they feel separation anxiety? Did they suddenly feel alone. What was it like for them? Did they feel anything like Andrew felt as he left for camp? Did they feel like Andrew did when his cell phone lost power? How did Adam and Eve feel after the fall?
How about you? Have you ever felt separated from God and alone? Do you now?