After the loss of a co-worker this week in an automobile crash I had to explain this random and tragic event to daughter. Coming through the door as I normally do, I kissed my wife and then my daughter followed by a little rough house with the dogs. My wife asks “how was work” and I immediately told of the event forgetting the 10 year old in the room. Both of them respond simultaneously “Oh my!”.
After that were questions of his having a family and what would happen next. My daughter became distraught at the idea that something like this could maybe happen to me. As well, she asked how something like this could happen and referenced God. Talk about a teaching moment, not just for her, I had to teach myself in that moment how best to respond to such a question at that age level. Often there are far too many adults that grapple with the same.
Explaining to her first that despite my vast experience in life (she reminds me I have lived 5 times longer than she has, lol) this is still a question the eludes many, many people. The reason being first and foremost …..I am not God. Telling her that Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Continuing on, I told her that God did not cause the automobile accident, rather , he allowed it to happen. There would be a greater purpose served by the events of that night and that we may possibly never see the end results, yet, it will bring others to the realization of God and our feeble human condition. Looking at the story of Cain and Abel; Abel means “vapor” and as such Abel was only on the earth a short time, like a vapor. This would bring about the birth of Seth, through whom the Savior Jesus Christ is born.
Finishing up I told her that it is possible that the shortened life of my co-worker may be the eye-opener for others that were in his world to see that they too are just here for a short while. That it is possible that allowing that to happen may bring many others to the eternal truth of God and salvation through Jesus. It is all a part of His higher ways and no matter what happens in this world, these events and others that we have experienced will be understood in the light of the greater plan of God ….in due time. For now, we pray, we love and we support those around us in these trying times.
For the rest of us, we need to come to the rock solid conclusion that God will go to the extreme to reach out to us. He warned humanity for 120 years that there was a flood coming and he has been warning us for 2000 years that the Sword of Truth is coming.
God has set forth the promise of Heaven for the righteous as well as a promise of when the warning will end. In Matthew 24 we see the following: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be save”
There is no promise of ‘your best life now’ or any of the sappy, prosperity driven theology is Jesus’ message to the disciples. Jesus delivers the truth, in love, and that love being that they are not misinformed of the master plan of God. He continues in Matthew’s account, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.”
While reading in Jubilees this week I came across this and I thought it interesting. Jubilees 23:16,19-26 “And in that generation the sons shall convict their fathers and their elders of sin and unrighteousness, and of the words of their mouth and the great wickednesses which they perpetrate, and concerning their forsaking the covenant which YAHWEH made between them and Him, that they should observe and do all His commandments and His ordinances and all His Torah, without departing either to the right hand or the left.
And they shall strive one with another, the young with the old, and the old with the young, the poor with the rich, the lowly with the great, and the beggar with the prince, on account of the Torah and the covenant; for they have forgotten commandment, and covenant, and feasts, and months, and Shabbats, and jubilees, and all judgments.
And they shall stand swords and war to turn them back into the way; but they shall not return until much blood has been shed on the earth, one by another. And those who have escaped shall not return from their wickedness to the way of righteousness, but they shall all exalt themselves to deceit and wealth, that they may each take all that is his neighbor’s, and they shall name the great NAME of YAHWEH, but not in truth and not in righteousness, and they shall defile the kodesh of ha kodeshim with their uncleanness and the corruption of their pollution.
And a great punishment shall befall the deeds of this generation from YAHWEH, and He will give them over to the sword and to judgment and to captivity, and to be plundered and devoured. And He will wake up against them the sinners of the Nations, who have neither mercy nor compassion, and who shall respect the person of none, neither old nor young, nor anyone, for they are more wicked and strong to do evil than all the children of men.
And they shall use violence against Yisrael and transgression against Yacob, And much blood shall be shed upon the earth, And there shall be none to gather and none to bury. In those days they shall cry aloud, And call and pray that they may be saved from the hand of the sinners, the Nations; But none shall be saved. And the heads of the children shall be white with grey hair, And a child of three weeks shall appear old like a man of one hundred years, And their stature shall be destroyed by tribulation and oppression. And in those days the children shall begin to study the laws, And to seek the commandments, And to return to the path of righteousness.”
My prayers will always include the earthly welfare of family and friends, in that, God may meet their needs of food, clothing and shelter. Also that they too may begin to study the laws, And to seek the commandments, And to return to the path of righteousness.