The Expository Files.

God is Not the Source of All Tragedy

Often, when tragedy strikes, the victim will ask, "Why did God do this to me?" or perhaps "Why didn't God keep this from happening?" Insurance companies sometimes refer to natural disasters as "acts of God." We need to understand that such an idea is foreign to what the Bible teaches. Much of what we experience in these matters are the result of living in a fallen world cursed by sin. These events are consequences of that. The source of these circumstances, according to Scripture, is Satan, not God. We do our Creator a great injustice by laying the blame at His doorstep.

The book of Job makes this very clear - or at least more clear. Job suffered tragedy after tragedy, Both he and his friends thought it was all due to God's doing. They even tried to reason out why God had done these things to Job... that there must be some tremendous evil that Job had done. What they did not know is that it was Satan's doings, not God's (see Job 1:9-12; 2:7).

The ultimate message of the book is that, as human beings, we may not be competent to understand how such events may fit into the general scheme of life and life's purpose. We are not privy to all the information we need to reach definite conclusions about any particular tragedy. But we also learn that men and women of faith face these situations with abiding trust in God (see Job 38-42:6). God's people will live by their faith in good times and bad - having as an anchor for their souls a steadfast hope. We do not blame God for misfortune that befalls us because we, at this time, live in a fallen world and understand these things are consequences of that. But we do depend upon Him for strength and guidance now, and a better home for our souls in eternity.

God is not the source of evil, but of good. "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow" (James 1:17).


By Jon W. Quinn 
The Final Page
 From Expository Files 12.5; May 2005