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Did God cause Rock Gutter tragedy?

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Fri Jan 30, 2015

Editor: “Look what God did! Their time was up! God called them home.” We may have heard those statements, or other similar statements after the Rock Gutter tragedy. But we may ask – Did God really CAUSE that tragedy? Was it really God’s Will for the tragedy to happen? Some people quote the words of the righteous man Job, recorded at Job 1:21, which states in part: “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away.”{{more}}

Due to Job’s statement, they conclude that God brings trials and suffering on people as part of His Will. We must remember though that even though Job was righteous, he was not sinless and so he could make a wrong statement. READ Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23.

Later on Job himself acknowledged that he uttered what he understood not. Job 42:3. Then he repented in dust and ashes, as Job 42:6 mentions. So, not everything that Job said was correct. So, was Job’s expression at Job 1:21 correct, about the Lord taking away? Job 1:7-12 reveals that there was a conversation between God and Satan, in which Satan claimed that Job only served God because of God blessing and protecting him. Satan also said that if God removed his blessing and protection from Job, Job would curse God.

What did God do? Job 1:12 tells us: “The LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” According to this verse, it is clear that God ALLOWED Satan to test Job, which Satan did. Verses 13 to 19 then record the trials that SATAN brought upon Job, NOT God.

Then it was after that, we read Job’s statement at Job 1:21. So, Job’s expression at Job 1:21 was not correct, about the LORD taking away. But we can understand why Job was mistaken, for he was not aware of the conversation in heaven between God and Satan. Job 34:10, 12 bring out that God does not do wickedness. God ALLOWS tragedies, but he does not CAUSE them. Similarly, God ALLOWS people to do wickedness, but he does not CAUSE the wickedness that some people do.

Hence, it is wrong to say that God called home the children who died in the accident at Rock Gutter. Rather, God ALLOWED it to happen but God did not CAUSE the accident to happen, in order to take the children to heaven to be with him. Ecclesiastes 9:11,12 mention in part that “time and chance happeneth to them all.

For man also knoweth not his time….when it falleth suddenly upon them.” So, the children just happened to be travelling at a time when the van malfunctioned, and so they suffered. Had they been elsewhere, they would have been alive today, barring any other misfortune. (Please note: I am NOT saying that the students were wrong to get on the van. After all, they were going to school.

They had NO way of knowing that the accident was going to take place. It could have happened to anyone.) From the foregoing, we clearly see that God does NOT cause tragedies; he merely ALLOWS tragedies. Humans suffer due to 1. sin, (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12) 2. Satan, (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9, 12) and 3. time and chance (Ecclesiastes 9:11). But God will end tragedies and suffering at his appointed time. Revelation 21:3-5.

Please see the following link: http://www.jw.org/en/ Go to the heading, Publications. Scroll to the book entitled: What Does the Bible Really Teach? Chapters 11 and 12 give more details on the above matter. I do respect others’ right to believe what they wish. Thank you for reading.

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