Today’s Scripture: I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. Romans 11:1-3

There are two types of people — those who are currently suffering a tragedy and those who will soon be suffering a tragedy. I’m sorry if this sounds fatalistic. It’s simply reality.

“Why” is the first question that pops into our heads. Why is there pain? Why is there suffering? Why is there evil?

Many years ago, a terrible famine slowly put its stranglehold on Russia. A peasant described it like this: “We’ve eaten everything we could lay our hands on — cats, dogs, field mice, birds. When it’s light tomorrow, you will see the trees stripped of their bark.”

Why? Why is there famine? Why would God allow such suffering? I could give example after example of tragedy after tragedy. Many find themselves forced to ask the question, “If God is good, how can He allow suffering and evil to go on seemingly without restraint?”

This question will be asked until the very end of time. It is natural for us to question someone’s love if the person does not seem to care. But at the same time, we must be very careful about jumping to conclusions.

Lior sat next to me on a flight from India to Israel. I struck up a conversation with him and learned that he was an Israeli dentist. We had a great time talking about all sorts of things, and the conversation turned to proofs that God exists. I told Lior that he was proof of God’s existence.

He looked at me funny and asked, “Why?”

I said because God had preserved the Jews through centuries of abuse, torture, and threatened extermination, and had returned them to their homeland as promised (Ezekiel 37).

He said, “That’s why I don’t believe in God.”

I asked, “Why?”

He said, “Because God, as described in the Scriptures, could not possibly have allowed six million Jews to be massacred in the Holocaust.”

My dentist friend’s sentiment is echoed by many today as mankind tries to understand how a loving God can allow suffering and evil.

To answer a question much bigger than my small brain can handle, I suggest we turn to what God has said about these things.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.