After the events in Las Vegas, all our hearts are filled with sorrow and grief. We mourn for those who lost loved ones, for those who were physically injured and for all those who will carry the psychological scars with them for the rest of their lives. And we should mourn.
In fact, there is an interesting passage in Ezekiel 9 where God instructed one of His “watchmen” (angels) to go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who were grieving and lamenting over all the detestable things that were being done in that city.
The “man with the writing kit” was looking for those who had genuine remorse and concern about the sins of the great city of Jerusalem. When there is great wickedness, the appropriate response of the believer is to grieve that wickedness, to mourn over the prevailing sin and to impatiently long for a time when the ruler of this world (Satan) no longer has his way among men.
We must grieve over Las Vegas (and all the other senseless destruction of human life). It should break our hearts. We should care deeply.
But on the other hand, we must not despair.
David faced circumstances that tried his soul. In Psalm 42 he declares, “…My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?””
When others ask or maybe we ask ourselves, “Where is God in this tragedy?” we need to direct our own attention and that of our friends to the cross of Jesus. In the middle of any sickening storm of evil, we need to gaze at that cross and remember what motivated Him to hang there. It was His love and when I survey that wondrous cross, I am left in awe of His eternal kindness.
We cannot despair. We cannot complain. We cannot ask “why?”
God never changes. His compassions never waver. His grace is never pinched off. His mercy is rich. He cares and cares deeply. Just for one example, notice how the prophet Hosea 11:8) records how God cried out over Israel. “My heart is turned over within me. All my compassions are kindled.”
He cares for all those affected in this recent tragedy. He cares for you and I as we grieve for our fellow human beings.
Steve Green’s old song “Calvary is the Sea” helps me put it all into perspective. Perhaps it will help you this week as well.
“If I should ever doubt your love, my only prayer would be, that you would keep your rugged cross, etched upon my memory. No sacrifice I could give for you, could match what you’ve given me, for my everything is but a drop of dew and Calvary is the sea.”