Why do ‘bad’ things happen?

Dear friends,

I have often heard people blame God for things that go wrong. They say something like this: ‘I don’t know why God took so and so’, or ‘How come so and so got so sick, they are such good people? They don’t deserve this.’ It seems as if God is blamed for everything that happens: good or bad.

Take a look at a short excerpt from my latest book “Why Do Bad Things Happen?” where I begin to explain the role self, others and satan have to play when bad things happen.

Why do ‘bad’ things happen?

Even good people sometimes leave the door open at night.

The Bible teaches that we have a part to play in staying under the Lord’s protective covering. It is not all up to Him to automatically cover for us in every situation. He wants to, but He needs our cooperation. Why else would He give us instruction in the following?

Hidden neglect.

Very often we see things differently than God. God expected King David to live a holy life. Yet he went in to Bathsheba, committed adultery, had her husband murdered, and covered up his sin. He was all the time perceived by man to be a good king. God had to send Nathan His prophet to expose his hypocrisy. The child died, and only after David’s repentance, was God’s mercy poured out and Solomon their next son succeeded David as the next king. 2 Samuel 11:1-12:14, and Psalm 51, give a vivid account of the situation. David was quick to repent and still enjoyed the honor of being described as a man after God’s own heart despite his obvious shortcomings. However, his sin and neglect opened the door to tragedy in his family and his dynasty had plenty of trouble after his Bathsheba transgression.

God comes to save us with a great deliverance. The new birth into His family is a unique spiritual moment that marks the beginning a great destiny. We may start well and enjoy much blessing. But God expects us to continue and finish well. We cannot afford to neglect such a great work in our lives and let the enemy get an upper hand.

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation,
Hebrews 2:1-3

In the same way that a shiny new motorcar needs continuing maintenance, our walk with the Lord must be maintained. Transgression and disobedience always has a consequence. Neglect opens the door to trouble. King David neglected to go out with his men in a season of war (2 Samuel 11:1) and fell to temptation and trouble.

Partial Obedience, Presumption and Ignorance.

Then there is partial obedience and presumption that gets us into trouble. In 2 Samuel 6:1-19 we have another example from the life of King David. He wanted to bring back the ark of God’s presence. The Philistines had captured the ark. David’s desire was a good thing. The problem was that as they were bringing the Ark back on a new cart pulled by oxen, a man named Uzzah stretched out his hand to steady it from toppling at one point and was instantly killed. A bad thing happened to a ‘good’ person acting on the instructions of another ‘good person, His king! David is confused and leaves the Ark in Obed – Edom’s household which is then mightily blessed because of God’s presence.

Later, David gets it right when he checks out the laws pertaining to moving the Ark. He sacrifices properly and the priests carry it on their shoulders, as they should have in the first place. No one dies this time and the Ark makes it to the tabernacle David had prepared for it. The people are blessed and celebrate, and now the focal point for their national worship is restored. The point is that David was right in wanting to bring the Ark back, but wrong in how he did it. His partial obedience mixed with presumption based on his neglect to check out the proper protocol led to trouble. As a result of ignorance or a lack of knowledge of how to do things, Uzzah perished.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4:6

In short, bad things happen to ‘good’ people often because the enemy exploits their partial obedience, presumption and ignorance. All that we need to know to survive in this life is found in the word. It is our responsibility to dig up the treasure in the word, and apply it diligently to our lives so that we might enjoy God’s promised provision and protection.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;

2 Peter 1:2-10

Notice that God’s grace is multiplied to us ‘in the knowledge’ (v 2). We have to know His word! Also, we are given all things that pertain to life in Christ (v 3). It’s ours for the taking, and when we supply the required diligence
(v 5), we reach a place where need never stumble (v 11). It’s possible. Jesus never did, and He showed us the way to follow and gave us the ability in the Holy Spirit to actually do it. We must imitate Him and we really do not have any valid excuses that hold water with God. Sure we can hide behind our own short comings, background, experience, lack of this or that, but God’s word says we have all we need to walk in victory. He will always lead us in triumph in Christ. It depends on us how much in Christ we really are through prayer, worship, scripture meditation, obedience, steadfastness etc. He has played His part, are we playing our part?

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Click here for this and more Resources.

Yours for the King,
Ed Horak

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