“Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.”
A Holocaust survivor recently asked this question in one of my lecture sessions…
“…if God is all loving, and all compassionate then why doesn’t he just miraculously stop the gun from firing or make the soldier drop dead before he has the opportunity to pull the trigger. Why did he let that soldier pull the trigger?”
There are two questions being asked here when you look closely. Question one, “is God all loving,” and, “why did God allow such an unjust thing to happen if God is just and good?”
Is God all loving? Yes! Is God just and good? Absolutely! But are we actually referring to God, or our preconceived notion of Him?
The real question coming to play here is about moral law, about justice. But if one asks any question about justice law or morality, one then has to posit a moral law. If we posit a moral law then we must posit a moral law giver.
Who accounts ultimately for justice amongst mankind? God does.
So this question quickly reduces itself to a debate about the will of God, His transcendental nature and ultimately about His reality and goodness.
We won’t always have an answer for why things happen. We may not understand on this side of heaven why we or others had to suffer as we have.
Our suffering never undermines the reality of God’s existence or His ability to answer for and ease our suffering. More often than not, just as with this Holocaust survivor, suffering and horror don’t really push us away from God, they draw us closer.
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”