This question was of interest to me when a fellow blogger, Debbie L. on WordPress posed a question on how the world misinterprets God’s love based on the unrest in the world. And it has been asked several times by a friend of mine in the Philippines, but I decided to write on it as a sequel to, Where Is God In A World Of Pain?
If you haven’t read it, you might love to read it here: https://lovestreamoflife.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/where-is-god-in-a-world-of-pain/
One truth I have discovered about God’s love is that it’s His nature. He’s not just the Source of our love for one another but Love Himself. So, terrorism, civil unrest, suffering, slavery, etc doesn’t change who God is and how He reveals himself as love in the midst of man’s brokenness, but it does seem to revolutionize how men see God and which is the reason why they question that love. This is going to be a lengthy one but God willing, I may divide it into parts. To answer such a question, we’ll need to go through different parts of Scripture beginning from the creation.
A BEAUTIFUL WORLD
The world was a beautiful place to live in the beginning, for there was no disease, no hatred, no terrorism: man had no idea what sin was. Although, God already knew what good and bad was, He made a man who had no idea of both, but had an idea of LOVE. He lived to love the animals, garden and all of Father’s creation, and in the midst of such undefinable love was an atmosphere of peace. Surely, Father wasn’t selfish!
THERE WAS NO TERRORISM OR EVIL, SUFFERING
God made man and gave him dominion over everything He had created. Reading the Book of Genesis, you’ll discover that man used his authority, or dominion appropriately: He made the right choices before the fall. Besides this choice, he had a major one to make, “Choose the Living Tree or taste of the Tree of Knowledge and break God’s word.”
How does planting the Tree of Knowledge tell of God’s love for us? Father was making sure it wasn’t something that required force but a choice, proving man’s affection for Him. Man’s obedience was the most important! He didn’t put that tree for man to stumble, but to prove his affection for Him.
Unfortunately, it was man’s wrong choice that resulted in the presence of sin, but don’t get it wrong, man didn’t lose that dominion. He lost the desire to make the right choices and when his eyes were opened, he couldn’t tell what sin was, so the Law was given so he could differentiate between what is good and what is sinful. Also, this is God’s love in action as well, hoping that would help prevent man from walking in his evil ways.
With sin coming in, all that was sinful came in, and with that came the willful misuse of that dominion. Honestly, from a supernatural sense of authority, the dominion over the entire world is God’s, but from the perspective of the natural, man still has that dominion which is why whatever choice he makes either results in good or evil. And this good or evil results arising from man’s misuse of authority confirms where he got such foolishness from—Tree of Good and Evil.
Thus, terrorism, diseases, war, civil unrest all resulted from man’s misuse of authority. Also, the problem with the outside world is Ignorance. We have no idea that we still have that dominion, if not we will be very careful whatever choice we make in this world, knowing it leads no where, but even affect our generations to come and destroy the world we think we can make beautiful.
WHAT?! HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT? MAN’S DOMINION WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE DEVIL, WASN’T IT?
No, it wasn’t! In the beginning, man was working with God since He’s the overall Ruler, and they shared relationship. When Adam named the animals, God was delighted. Yet the devil wasn’t in the picture. He got into the picture by luring Adam away from God who was the One with whom Adam was able to make the right choices. Today, since the devil knows that man has that dominion over the natural world, he’s using man to destroy the world God created by being the brain behind all his suggestions. Over everything that exists, God remains the Ruler, but over the world, the devil stepped in to be the Prince.
The peace in the garden wasn’t just about how EDEN was made, but the presence of the Prince of Peace Himself. When man took his eyes away from Him and hid the Devil’s suggestion, he placed himself beneath his guidance. Man grew up with a heart for misusing that authority.
Scripture gives details of people who shared relationship with God in the Old Testament and God was the one guiding man on right ways to exercise that dominion in the world. Although, like the beginning, Satan repeatedly tried to get in, but when man left his eyes on God, he exercised his dominion rightly. If he took his eyes away from Him, that dominion was wrongly exercised.
The writer of Hebrews wrote,
YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS In SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET ” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.—Hebrews 2:8.
Was that part talking about Jesus? No. It was talking about man. You HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET, yet the fact is nothing looks subjected to man yet because this is not the original kind of dominion given to man. Jesus’ death was to take over as man’s guide in exercising that dominion rightfully, but in His Name and by His Wisdom as it was in the beginning. So, God gets restored in the picture and we Christians now have the relationship which Adam lost, to put the rightful use of our dominion back in place.
For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.—James 3:7.
Therefore, terrorism, wars are a results of man’s misuse of authority. At present, Satan is working through man in the misuse of that dominion to destroy the world, but Christ, working in and through man is restoring all that Adam lost, drawing us back to the Paradise of God which is much better than EDEN.
Next: WHAT GOES ON IN THE WORLD DOESN’T CHANGE HIS LOVE.