Friday, January 14, 2011

An Anniversary

Last night during another treacherous commute from work a story on the radio caught my attention. It was a report on Haiti's recovery since the earthquake. I felt a pang of shame for completely forgetting that it had even happened. In fact, so much that I changed the channel. As Bach replaced the sad statistics on the radio, my thoughts kept lingering around what had happened last January.

Yes, the response of the international community was great (even though not nearly enough)...  What if its simply a small icon to shut up the guilt the West feels for all its comforts and wealth?  The things we consider as "needs" in the US are actually a luxury for most people on Earth. As much as we love to use our material possessions to  point out our accomplishments to those around us; when it comes down to it we are a result of circumstance. Would you have the car you drive if you were born in Tanzania? or the designer jeans you are wearing if you were from North Korea?

I received answers to my questions within a couple hours! They were in the form of a sermon. The pastor at my church is going over one book of the Bible every Wed night. Last night it was Job.  It was amazing to hear answers to my questions so soon and directly from the Bible!

Photos courtesy of UN Development Programme

Here are some points from A. Kolomiytsev's sermon that helped set my thinking straight.

The Bible says that it is dangerous to even think that we can somehow try to argue with God about such things.  In fact, when Job questions God why all those horrible things happened to him, he hears this:
(Job 38:4-6) 4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?5 Who determined the measures thereof, if thou knowest? 6 Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? 
(Job 40:1-2) 7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: 8 Wilt thou even annul my judgment? 9 Or hast thou an arm like God? 
The most surprising thing that I found, is that God never explains the reasons behind the events that happened. He simply shows Job his place in the scheme of things.

Main lessons from the book of Job (based of Pastor Alexey's sermon). 
A. God is the absolute Ruler of the universe.
B. A man may never argue with God.
C. Suffering doesn't only happen due to sin, God may allow suffering in order make us closer to Him.
D. A humble heart before God becomes the only right reaction in any circumstance.
E. When thinking or talking about others we have to be very careful not to judge and assume that they are being punished for sins. 

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