31 Mar Dropped From The Sky by Dave Gadoury
Dropped from the Sky
How could a modern airliner fall from the sky over Europe and be obliterated, and in a second take the lives of 150 people? Experts are already struggling to analyze what could have been involved in the crash of Germanwings flight 9525, but none of their conclusions are going to comfort the parents, families, and friends in their shock in disbelief.
This latest tragic example of unforeseen death adds to the growing list of ways that sudden death can come roaring into our comfortable, seemingly safe and secure, modern lives. Sometimes it is an accident caused by human failure; sometimes it is a seeming freak of nature amid increasingly bizarre climatic events; sometimes it is the random choice of a deranged or disturbed broken person; worst of all, it is sometimes the result of malicious evil intent bent on terrorism and mayhem.
It is a universal human reaction to these tragedies to ask, “Why.” We crave for answers that will make sense of the inexplicable and enable us to find hope in a life that often seems to make little sense. Unfortunately, we too frequently look for answers in the wrong place – from sources ill-equipped to give us truth and a final answer.
For these mountain-sized troubles, we need the kind of answers that can come from only God Himself. There will always be things that are either not disclosed, or incomprehensible to us in our human limitations. But God has provided many trustworthy answers in his word, the Bible.
At the heart of these answers is the truth that God is a sovereign, over-ruling God, and this is a truth made undeniably clear in Scriptures. Here is a selective summary of some of what it reveals.
1. He is in charge of everything
First, there are no exceptions to His sovereignty. Consider some of these verses:
“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens; And His sovereignty rules over all. (Psalm 103:19)*
“Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.” (Psalm 135:6)
“I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
Specifically, the Bible says that He is in charge of the outcomes of history. Consider these sweeping examples:
“The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He set the world on them.” (1 Samuel 2:6-8)
“For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another.” (Psalm 75:6,7)
But what about those so-called “chance occurrences”? Proverbs 16:33 clearly informs us that even these are subject to his sovereign control: “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.”
God’s superintendency includes all our choices and actions, both the evil ones and the good ones, as these verses explain:
“The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord, it will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)
“Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth?” (Lamentations 3:37,38)
“This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” (Acts 2:23)
2. He has a purpose in everything
The good news is that God’s rulership is an expression of his perfect attributes, and of his goodness in particular. This means that all the things that do take place result from the thoughtful and good purposes of God. Consider, for example:
“The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of his heart from generation to generation.” (Psalm 33:10,11)
Those who know their God and desire to walk with Him have the added assurance that he is working everything for our ultimate God, and so He will bring good out of everything. This reality is stated plainly in verses like these:
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:71)
“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.” (Luke 21:12, 13)
“Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:2,3)
What is God doing in the Alps of France? God only knows how he is working in the lives of each person, each family, each relationship, or even to accomplish larger outcomes in the unforeseen future. What we do know is that he endured our troubles himself in the person of His Son, Jesus, who came among us and sufffered as we suffer. And we know tht his love and comforting presence are available to each in their time of loss in a sin-broken world. May this latest tragedy find many turning to him who is our only hope.
* All quotations are from the New American Standard Bible