Recently I had occasion to chat with an attorney for one of our local police unions. He is a former prosecutor who now represents the law enforcement community, and in this particular situation he and I were present to visit the same person at the same time. As we waited together for the officer we were there to see, he began to open up a bit.
He told me that he was having the worst day of his professional life. Nothing especially traumatic had occurred, but he had been forced (by duty) to look at a set of really disgusting and graphic photos. They were the kind of images that no sane and benevolent person ever wants to see.
He went on to tell me that he isn't a particularly "religious" person, but that this was the second time in recent memory that his thoughts had turned toward God. The first happened to be a case involving the death of a coworker of his a few years ago, which I also happened to be involved with, which he found to be quite a "coincidence". He said that his thoughts toward God were not necessarily all that good right now. He was struggling with a question that many in the law enforcement community seem to agonize over. "If there is really a good God who has the power to stop all this evil, then why doesn't He!?"
It's a valid question. I don't believe God is offended by it in the least. Nor is He intimidated by such questions. There are reasonable answers which are given to those who truly wish to know.
I responded to this man's question with one of my own: "If God decided today to utterly eliminate all evil from the earth, would you really want Him to do that? How would His decision affect you personally?"
You see, most of us think of ourselves as being pretty good people, but good compared to what? Good compared to whom?
I stack up nicely against my limited frame of reference! When I set my life side by side with that of Andrea Yates or Osama, or Sadam, I look like a saint! But that's not really a valid standard for evaluation, is it? So what standard should be used? Who is qualified to establish such a standard?
Only a Judge whose character and intellect are absolutely flawless would be up to such a task… And face it, you and I would be toast. Because even though many will deny being "sinners", none claim to be perfect! And since the very definition of sin is imperfection, we would all be judged evil by a perfect and objective Judge.
God will one day purge the earth of imperfection, but until then every human being has the freedom to make choices, and SOME are entrusted with the responsibility of holding their fellow human beings accountable for the choices they make.
You are among those who have accepted the God-given (Romans 13) duty to "hold the line" against the evil which exists all around us, and to defend the rest of society against those who would deliberately seek their ruin.
So if and when you are tempted to question God's goodness, and maybe even agonize over the issue of why He doesn't do SOMETHING… remember that He has, He has appointed YOU.
- Pastor Robert Fountain