|Photo from Deviantart.com by Thaddeus|
We will never fully know, in this life, why God doesn’t stop specific acts of evil. This is part of our “seeing through a glass darkly.” Neither will we know if God has prevented other similar acts or if He did intervene in some way in the crowded theater early Friday morning.
However, we can know two things about evil in this world – it’s not God’s desire and He has defeated it on the cross, is defeating it through His work in believers and will permanently defeat it in the return of Christ.
Did the shooting in Aurora catch God by surprise? Absolutely not. However, simply because God was not surprised, does not mean God was pleased with it or desired it to happen.
There are numerous philosophical arguments that can demonstrate exactly how God and evil can coexist in this world, but for the believer, ultimately, we can trust in the character of the God we know personally.
Those arguments seem cold and distant during a time of great suffering, but God did not send us a rational statement to comfort us. He came personally. The Son of God, being God Himself, came to Earth to intimately feel the pain caused by evil and provide the victory through it.
Evil is allowed to continue because grace is still available. God, in His both sovereignty and mercy, has extended time on this Earth for people to respond to His calling.
The fate of evil and those who choose it eternally was sealed on the cross. It exists in a defeated state. However, just as a caged animal can be dangerous to those near it, evil can still lash out until it is finally and ultimately conquered.
The Church, the joint efforts of those of us who name the name of Christ, is how God has chosen to dampen the impact of evil and relieve suffering now. He may choose to miraculously intervene in situations. He’s God. He can do that.
The most frequent way He responds, however, is through the Body of Christ He has left here as His ambassadors. We are to be the arms of God, embracing the hurting, protecting the weak and preventing as much evil as we can. Even if it costs us. Even if it costs us everything.
In the end, Christ will return and set all things right. The defeated foe will be trampled under Christ’s foot and suffer his final end. Sin and death will be no more. Victory will reign.
Where was God during the Aurora, CO shooting?
He was looking to the cross where He provided a way to overcome evil.
He was in the lives of brave individuals sacrificing themselves for others and working to bring many to safety.
He was hurting with those who were hurt, grieving with those who were grieving, serving with those who were serving.
God was on His throne – awaiting the day when His perfect plan will be completed, tears will be wiped away, evil will be a forgotten memory.
On that day, when we know as we are known by Him, we will see exactly where God was during the shooting. We will know that He was there, as He always is, working to prevent evil and show grace.