Where is God when unspeakable acts of violence are happening in humanity? That is a BIG question. Too big really to try to fully articulate in this post. But with the images and videos filling our news feeds and social media, it really is an inescapable question. There are many passages in the Bible that you can go to but the one below really has struck me. It has struck me because it shows the heart of God. Really the question of “Where is God in all this?” is a heart of God question.
In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:3 — 5
Nothing reflects the heart of God more clearly than the Gospel. Because the Gospel is true, then we can believe that God will be consistent in His character and act according to His character. The passage above begins with the description of us as children and enslaved. Children in Paul’s day didn’t have any rights. They were helpless. They were enslaved to the way that the society wanted to treat them. They were enslaved to the way the world worked. This passage is inferring that they are orphans in need of adoption. Their caretakers operate under the same “elementary principles” of the world. The images of war are horrible but none more horrific than that of abandoned children. Orphans abandoned by their caretakers. The elementary principles of the world are basically code for quid pro quo. I can take what I put in and when I believe the relationship costs too much then I can leave. The world runs on an elementary principle of equitable exchanges. When the cost is too much for what we get in return we don’t proceed.
This is not how God operates. The passage states that God sent His Son into the war zone of human existence. From the fall of mankind in the Garden, there has been a war (Genesis 3:15). This war has raged for thousands of years between Mankind and sin/world. When Paul states that this Son is “born of woman, born under the law” this is essentially saying that God sent His Son into the war of sin and death and the war between us and God for righteousness (the law). When the world leaves us abandoned, this is when God comes to adopt.
At great personal cost to the Father, He sends the Son to redeem for Himself more children. Adoption never costs the child anything but it costs the family adopting them everything. It is not an equitable exchange. It does not operate under the elementary principles of the world. Jesus, by His substitutionary death on the cross and resurrection, defeats the enemy of sin and death. By His perfect life lived in our place, He satisfies the demands of the law, thus ending the war between us and God.
War in this life is the effects of sin still enslaving people to the elementary principles of this world. The battle for our souls still rages but the war has been won.
So to answer the question: Where is God in all this?
If I know anything about our God, He is right there in the midst of it all, protecting the ones that can’t protect themselves. He is rescuing those that don’t have the ability to do so. Just like He did for you and me.
I pray that the Gospel will draw you closer to the heart of God in this tumultuous season.
I pray that you will cry out to Him knowing that He hears and cares deeply for the protection of the defenseless.
I pray that you will call upon His justice to right every wrong in this time.
I pray that your trust in God will grow as your understanding of His heart grows.