Over and over we have heard, “Why!” perhaps more as an exclamation than as a question. Why did a 20 year old kill his mother in cold blood and then proceed to kill twenty children and the adults who cared for them? What turns a rather anonymous young man into an instantly infamous killer?
The world we see is the temporary world for it will end. The world we do not see, the world of the spirit is the permanent world for it preceded all we see and will exist after all we see is gone. In the same way that we cannot understand the lights in the sky and the paths they take at night without understanding the celestial world, we cannot understand much that takes place in this physical world without understanding the spiritual one. Hence, we must be students of Scripture, quick to prayer and humble in obedience in order to begin to understand these things. It is at this point that those whose lives are lived apart from the world of the spirit come up empty.
The truth is that our world is fallen and infected through and through by sin, our desire to live apart from God. The nature of sin is, in some ways, like a virus which lies dormant in the human system. Much time pay pass in which thought it is present, symptoms are virtually absent. This may be because of medication, time, age, circumstances or some unknown.
In our country we are able to keep some of the most catastrophic effects of sin at bay by means of law enforcement, our military, our money, our location, walls, borders, government, etc. When we have periods of relative peace we may think that the virus has been licked! But it has not been. It is still present and active. In much of the world and in many segments of our society the effects of sin are much more apparent. Newtown, CT by all accounts has been a good place to live. People are prosperous, well educated and caring. It is possible in such a peaceful setting to forget some of the symptoms of this virus we call sin. For whatever the reason (s), one of the more violent symptoms of sin emerged Friday, December 14th.
Jesus was asked once (Luke 13:1) if certain people were worse than others because of catastrophic events in their lives. His answer was sobering. “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish!” Jesus is saying that we live in a world affected deeply by sin and we are all more threatened by that world than we would care to think. Those asking the question wanted an answer to their question, “Why?” which would allow them to grasp the situation and control their destiny. Jesus’ answer reaffirmed much of what He taught about the uncertainty of this life, this world and all that is in it.
Perhaps a better question might be, “Because the virus of sin is throughout our society and our world, why do these terrible things not happen more often than they do?”