February 25

Written by Bill Grandi on February 25th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Tragedy is God’s Judgment vs Tragedy is God’s teaching moment.

Down through history events have taken place which so-called biblical scholars have interpreted as “signs of the times.” Others have interpreted events as God’s judgment on mankind or a certain group of people. For example:

  • The Titanic disaster. It was seen as man’s ingenuity against God’s place. God would not be replaced or misplaced and since “Titanic was a ship not even God could sink” He’d show them a thing or two. I submit it was man’s inability to monitor correctly the condition of the seas which caused the sinking of that massive ship rather than God’s judgement against the arrogance of man.
  • AIDS was preached as a judgment against the homosexual community. If so, why were innocent children and people contacting and dying from the disease?
  • The Twin Towers. They were seen as God’s judgment against the U.S. because of our multi-culturism. How about we see it as an act of terrorism and hate? Let’s not rush to judgment that it was God reigning down His displeasure condemning us.

Rather than seeing tragic events as God’s judgment, let’s see them as teaching moments, as discipline. When something happens to the follower of Christ, it should lead us to Him. Instead of condemnation and judgment, the church should lead by sharing grace and truth.

I am not saying that when things happen they don’t have a purpose. I do not see my bike wreck in 2/17 as God’s judgment on my wayward heart but a divine calling back to His heart. I honestly don’t believe the accident was God’s anger lashing out but God’s loving heart reaching out to call me back to his embrace.

Let’s stop being so quick to call out judgment. After all, to do so may just cause us to miss out on some of God’s greatest lessons.

“Father, teach me. Help me to see what happens as a way to learn from You rather than being punished by You. Please give me a teachable heart.”


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Glynn says:

    All of the examples you cite are examples of man-centeredness as opposed to God-centeredness, and I’ve heard many of the same sentiments expressed by people. We seek justification in external events instead of finding justification in God.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I agree Glynn. Finding justification in external events only leaves us empty for reasons and answers.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    No doubt God has used disasters in the past to get the attention of people.
    Read Exodus and there is clearly a written record indicating so.
    However, I think God gets blamed for too much of the tragedy in the world.
    I think most of the tragedy we see is not God’s judgement, but rather man’s denial and disobedience. I see the tragic weather events the result of a cataclysmic flood that changed the weather patterns of this world forever. God seen this as a necessary cleansing as the corrupted heart of man was evil through and through.

    That being said, tragedy often involves the loss of this temporary life. Our hearts should be that of compassion, not blame… not judgment.

    When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, He did not reply to pass judgement on those who have suffered a tragic loss. His reply was not to blame the the tragedy on the wickedness of the suffering people. His reply was “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind….”You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

    This does not sound like a vengeful, hateful, judgemental God… This sounds like a God of compassion to me.

  3. Bill Grandi says:

    You have said a mouthful Ryan. God gets blamed for so much and if he was human with a human reaction he would shrug his shoulders and say, “What did I do to deserve this?” He is a convenient scapegoat. That being said, I do think we can learn some lessons from tragedy or events which take place. But blaming God? No.

  4. No, God is never to blame for tragedies that happen in this sinful world. But if the horrible things that occur draw us closer to Him, that is well worth it. As I recall, churches around the country experienced record attendance in the aftermath of 9/11. That certainly attests to God getting (finally) some attention.
    Blessings, Bill!