God Desires Life
by Michael Cisler
North Kent Bible Church
Last week’s bombing at the Boston Marathon etches in our minds another scene of death and devastation. Sadly, we have too many of these scenes that have been added to our minds in recent history. When we as a nation, or as all of humankind, consider the destruction, and especially the loss of life, it can sometimes bring in questions of true power or real compassion of God, the Creator of the heavens and earth. Is God not capable of stopping such things, or is He not compassionate enough to care to stop them? The problem with these questions is that it assumes responsibility upon God.
In Genesis 1:28 we read, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” God gave man authority over the earth and within two chapters man gave that authority to the serpent, who is the devil or Satan. This is why in Matthew 4:8-9 when the devil tempts Jesus by showing him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor he says, “All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.”
And in Ephesians 6:12 we find, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Not only does the adversary have control over the earth today but also people were created by God to have and exert free will. Each individual is given the opportunity to choose well or poorly with every choice. As Eleanor Roosevelt has said of our freedoms here in America, “With freedom comes responsibility”. This is true of our freedom of human will as well. Unfortunately, some people make decisions with devastating consequences for others, and we are left with those images etched in our minds.
God’s desire for people is life, not death. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
God gives us the freedom of choice in our lives. He also loves us and wants us to live and to choose life for ourselves and others. Let us then consider how we can join God in desiring life and promoting life within our world.