Speaker: Rhordan Wicks
Singapore, 4 May 2023. The main culprit of several wife-sharing rape cases was sentenced. Over a period of eight years, he had sedated his own wife, under the guise of giving her medication, and subjected her to unspeakable acts with strangers. His wife would write in a victim impact statement, “I kept thinking about how cruel he was to do this to me.” The couple had four daughters.
Why would God allow such evil to happen? And perhaps in the voice of one of the family, why would God allow such evil to happen to us?
We cannot hope to reach a “solution” to the depth and complexity of this set of questions today, or possibly ever. But in Part 3 of this series, we will try to grasp some handles that the Christian faith offers to make sense of it all.
It starts with the Fall. First of angels, alluded to in Revelation 12:7-9, where Satan rebelled against God and is now active in the world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Second of humanity, as told to us in Genesis 3. When we sin, we rebel against God’s ways. God does not enforce obedience upon us as He wants a relationship with us, and love is only meaningful when we choose to love.
WHAT WILL YOU DO
The Bible tells us that our God is not oblivious to the pain and suffering that we go through. Jesus, though He was God, allowed himself to be betrayed and humiliated. He suffered and died on the cross for our sake. Sometimes, when we are going through pain and suffering, we may think that we are being punished by God. But this is not true, as we know that He has already taken our punishment on Himself. And as we dwell at the foot of the cross, we discover too a God who has walked in our shoes.
So, what do we do when we experience pain and suffering? Bring and express our grief and frustrations to God. There is no need to act like everything is okay, because He knows that it is not.
After that, let us not remain there but instead draw close to God and worship Him, because He is sovereign and good. In whatever situation that we are going through, let us choose to give thanks and put our trust in God, that He will see us through our pain.
THINK ABOUT IT
For Jesus there were no untested limits. And with trembling in our bones we can voice the sacred truth, that it is… good… that Jesus was so completely tested. For when Jesus screamed, it was, as I said, not in rage, not in anger, but in: a prayer. Although screamed out, the words My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? are a prayer. Jesus feels nothing but abandonment from God, and yet nonetheless he prays to God. He no longer feels any intimacy with God – less than twenty-four hours earlier he was praying to his “Father” that he be spared all this; now he cannot pray to his Father, but he can still pray like any human being can pray, to “God,” to indeed “my God.” He screams, yes, he cries out, yes, but it is a question that he cries, and a question rests upon a relationship, on the reality of one to whom a question is addressed. Jesus goes all the way down to the very bottom of human existence, and even at the bottom, even in the midst of all the pain of the universe, even in the absence of any sign at all that he has a divine Father, even there at the bottom a human being can still pray to God, can still ask, if nothing else, why this God, to whom he is speaking, why this God has forsaken him.
~ Victor Lee Austin, Losing Susan: Brain Disease, the Priest’s Wife, and the God who Gives and Takes Away (2016), pp.137-138.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21: 3-4 (NIV)