When Tragedy Strikes: Why do bad things happen?


From Thursday’s blog:

Many times when storms or tragedy strike, we find ourselves asking a question similar to this, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I am not sure that anyone can satisfactorily answer that question for everyone. But the Bible does give us the answer, an answer that requires a strong faith and strong foundation.

I find it interesting that Jeremiah asks a similar question in Jeremiah 12:1, “Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?” In other words, “Why do good things happen to bad people?”

There is a quick answer to the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:43-45, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

But what are the reasons bad things happen to good people?

Today we begin an answer.

First Bad Happens Because we Live in a World Cursed by Sin. We read in Genesis 1:31 at the end of God’s creation that in the beginning all was very good including mankind. Then only a couple chapters and a short while later

ABC 3340 Cullman Sky Cam Tornado 04.27.2011

ABC 3340 Cullman Sky Cam Tornado 04.27.2011

mankind sins against God and that sin brought its curse. Turn to Genesis 3:16-24, “To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Because of man’s sin, pain and suffering entered his experience. Because of his sin, toil and sweat entered man’s world. Because of his sin, sorrow and death became a reality to mankind. The serpent was correct, Adam and Eve now understood (knew of) the good they had and the evil that resulted from their listening to him.

Because of sin, God removed man from the Tree of life. The Tree of Life was for Adam and Eve their source of immortality. Now without access to the Tree of Life both disease and the  pain of deterioration become known to them. Now even nature becomes an agent of potentially bad things. Death can now come to man via animals, accidents, bacterial infections, or viral infections. No person after Adam and Eve is immune.

Consider what the Preacher says in Ecclesiastes 9:2-3 , “It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.”

Consider also the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die . . .”

Bad Happens Because we Live in a World Cursed by Sin.

We will consider a second reason on Monday’s Morning Drive.

– Scott

4 thoughts on “When Tragedy Strikes: Why do bad things happen?

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die . . .”
    — the completion of the verse is “even so in Christ shall all be made alive”. Bad things do happen to everyone, but in the Old Covenant there was no redemptor and savior. However we do have Christ who has redeemed us from every curse of the law and sin [Galatians 3:13]. Bad things still happen to everyone, however for people of the New Covenant we have Christ who has overcome all things and He has made us more than conquerors. If this is mere theology or theoretical in our life, then we are not experiencing eternal life on earth, but for those who can say this is true in their life, then just as Paul says in [Philippians 4:4], we would be rejoicing all the time.

    • Great thoughts. Let me bring to your mind that we are to rejoice in our trials (James 1:2-4) and that although we suffer, God is there, nearby, hurting with us and ready to hold us while we endure.

      • Absolutely. I don’t refute that. Just saying trials stop bothering the one who is experiencing eternal life, and that’s how our focus is not on the trials but on Jesus, only then can we rejoice in our trials. Thanks for your reply.

  2. Pingback: When Tragedy Stikes: Why Do Bad Things Happen – Part 3 | The Morning Drive

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