Thursday, April 13, 2017

God's Providence

God's will is a phrase that we often hear on the lips of Christians. At times not knowing what to say we utter these words. However, when we think everything is God's will without many qualifiers, we are in danger of making God a monster.

The third anniversary of the Sewol tragedy will be remembered on April 16th: the Feast of Easter. We pray that the families of those that lost members in the tragedy will find some consolation in our belief of the Resurrection. We hear that the tragedy was the will of God, that the division of Korea into North and South, that the colonization of Korea by the Japanese was the will of God. Is this true?

A seminary rector spends time in an article in With Bible magazine explaining to the readers that everything that happens is not the will of God. If it were why would we daily in prayer say: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." No, not everything we see is the will of God.

Can we say the two World Wars we experienced was God's will? Cain killing Abel and Adam and Eve disobeying God were all God's will! We are in these cases horribly misunderstanding the Providence of God.

When we sin this is not the will of God. The will of God is that all be saved, that we all understand the truth, love one another, search for the good, justice, freedom and peace.

The Story of Joseph in the Bible is a good example of how God works to bring God out of evil in his Providence. His brothers sold him to the merchants instead of killing him with the help of Reuben and Judas. His life in Egypt was far from easy but after many trials, he did rise to a high position in government and was able to help his brothers during the famine in their homeland. God drew good from the evil. Even the sin of Adam and Eve were seen as a happy fault. For those who love God, all things work together for the good.

God's goodness is always in his providence ruling over the world: drawing good out of evil without taking away our free wills.The will of God was not to have the tragedy of the Sewol, it was to have all the passengers rescued. However, the tragedy happened because of the failures of the humans involved. 

We now need to discover the reasons for the tragedy, humbly admit the failings and work for a  society where these types of human errors and sins, no longer bring about such evil.