Waking up to the news of the horrendous shooting in Aurora, Colorado this morning has led me to think and pray about evil. How can a human being walk into a crowded theater and take innocent lives? For most of my life psychologists and others, including myself, have attempted to explain actions such as these by blaming them on failures of others in their lives to meet their human needs. Others blame bad things on God and turn from Him. But it’s time that we call it what it is,– evil.
God gave Adam and Eve only one commandment,–not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity [AMP], because if they did, they would surely die. Ultimately, their choice was life or death. It wasn’t God’s will for them to choose death, but out of love, He gave them free will, knowing that only by choice can an individual truly love another, even God. Since Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan’s cunning deception instead of God’s warning, shame, blame and guilt entered Eden, and we now inhabit a fallen world.
God is good and everything that is good comes from God. This may sound extreme, but it’s not: evil is everything that is not of God. That includes things that are worthless, wretched, flawed, wrong or wicked, as well as adversity, distress and grief. When things like the senseless death of an innocent child occur, many among us first blame God, because we think deep inside that things should turn out good, since God is in charge. But that in itself points to our desire for God and His goodness and righteousness to reign in the world. We wrongly blame God for Satan’s work. Why? Because Satan is the father of lies, disguised as an angel of light.
What I do know is that God loves each one of us, and desires for us to come to Him. He made that possible by choosing to die for us on a cross. In Christ, death has been overcome. God wants each of us to be overcomers, not victims, choosing to trust Him to be victorious over whatever we encounter in this sin-filled world. He has empowered us to be victors over sin and death by His Holy Spirit living in us, thereby, overcoming evil with good. When we choose God, we choose life, light and love. Any other choice leads to death, darkness and self.
God’s ways are higher than our ways, so it’s beyond our understanding to explain why God sometimes intervenes in tragic situations, and sometimes He doesn’t. But by all rights, in Aurora, Colorado, the tragedy should have been much worse. Thank you, God, that it wasn’t.