Summary: Where are you GOD…MY GOD why? This was written and delivered to a Bible Study on the Wednesday evening following 9/11/2001. It’s a look at the proper response to disaster and tragedy-how Jesus responded to terrorism and disaster in His day.
Our Response To Disaster: Where Is God?
1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
Where are you GOD…MY GOD why? Why do innocent people die? Why do godly people suffer? WHERE is God in all this?
Literally, as I type this sermon, I am listening over my shoulder to Jane Pauley reporting on two school children who were aboard the flight which slammed into the Pentagon.
Her question is everyone’s question: Why did these children have to die? Why did any of this happen?
“Recent events in our country have changed the way we look at things”…a commercial roars.
September 11, 2001 is the new “day that will live in infamy”. “Where were you when it all came down?” is new question that will live for the next couple of generations.
Reality has set in…things are different. We will never go back to the America of September 10, 2001.
Many of us are just now being able to assimilate these events.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon tells us that there is “nothing new, under the sun”. Solomon had searched the world over and had found that “all was vanity”. Likewise
satan has no new tricks or schemes.
Circumstances change, technology changes, cities change and landscapes change. But the devil has come to “kill, to steal and to destroy.” He will use whatever means are available to accomplish his goals.
I find it quite comforting to realize that Jesus had some very specific words in response to both a terrorist-style murder, as well as an accidental disaster that happened while He was on the earth!
I invite you tonight to look with me at the very Words of God which are very similar to what we are going through in the present!
Jesus Is Tested-what is the meaning?
In Luke 13, Jesus is being tested. His words are on trial as his enemies seek to discredit Him, and make Him an enemy of the state as well as of Judaism.
I am always amazed at how well Jesus faced his accusers…with the Word from the Holy Spirit, in just the right moment.
The fullness of the Godhead rested squarely within Him…he was fully God and fully man.
He was completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit, and He was in constant communication with Him.
And He was obedient to the fullest.
In Luke 13, His enemies are hatching another carefully crafted “loaded” plot…to trap Him within His own words.
Begin the Story…Read the Scripture.
We don’t know any further details of this horrific act of terror which Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea had perpetrated upon the people.
It seems as though in a terrorist fashion, that he may have planted his people within Galilean circles so that they could slaughter a group who were preparing to bring sacrifices of worship to the Temple.
This act of terror was likely a punishment or a warning message for some violation, or some “politically incorrect” act of the day.
Its purpose was not only to kill, but to profane the holy sacrifice at the altar of God and to instill terror into the hearts of all who would see!
Typically we think of Pilate as having been a wavering, wishy-washy “don’t rock the boat” kind of a man. However history shows us that he was a bloodthirsty man with such political aspirations that he was despised even by the Romans!
Josephus the historian speaks of a time when Pilate had his men wiped out a group of Samaritans on their way to worship at their temple on Mt. Gerizim.
It may be that these Galileans spoken of in our scripture were followers of a rebel named Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37)