Evil’s Fury and God’s Purpose
“Not again!” was my first thought on hearing the news of the San Bernardino shooting late Wednesday afternoon, December 2nd.
- Think of the free choice of an angry couple to do evil, even as it meant dying and leaving their little baby.
- Think of the randomness of the shootings, as one was killed, another wounded, yet another spared.
I heard the news as I was driving to church late Wednesday afternoon to share a lesson for the Sunday School teachers in our congregation who in turn will share the lesson in their classes this weekend. One portion of our study burned in our minds as we heard the news of the San Bernardino shooting.
We focused on the painful portion of the Christmas story that is often played down or ignored – Herod kills the infants in Bethlehem. To protect his own position as King, he sent his storm troopers to terrorize by killing infants. We especially focused on two works from Matthew 2:16-17: furious and fulfilled.
When Herod realized that the Magi had outwitted him, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled.
How can God use the cruel and wicked decisions of evil men to advance his purpose for his people? Herod was furious but the purpose of God was fulfilled.
- Furious. On its face, the fury of Herod destroyed lives and wrecked havoc on people. We feel the same when we see the evil advancing in our world. How can we say that God is winning when it looks like evil is abounding?
- Fulfilled. Yet God works through the evil of kings and terrorists. God did not cause the angry couple in San Bernardino to rig bombs and pull the trigger on their automatic weapons. They make their own choice. I will not say that God allowed it, for God works against evil. Yet, the purpose of heaven advances.
copyright Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.