|Volume 23 Number 3 March 2021
Ronald D. Reeves
I wonder, how important is our personal Bible to each of us? I anticipate that we would not hesitate to attach a great measure of importance to the personal edition of the Bible that we study from time to time. I am reminded of an email that I read several years ago that commented as follows.
Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone? What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets? What if we flipped through it several times a day? What if we turned back to get it if we forgot it? What if we used it to receive messages from the text? What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it? What if we gave it to kids as gifts? What if we used it when we traveled? What if we used it in case of emergency? That is something to make you go, hmm, where is my Bible? Oh, and one more thing, unlike our cell phones, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
Makes you stop and think, “Where are my priorities?” No dropped calls either! When Jesus died on the Cross, He was thinking of you! Though I do not know the identity of the author of the observations, he has given us something to ponder and apply.
God’s Testing Ground
Brian R. Kenyon
Many theists, while debating atheists and agnostics on the problem of evil, have correctly observed that one reason God allows natural disasters is that He made the world as a testing ground for humanity to choose God and live. The created world points us to God.
First, we can know that this world must have been caused by an all-powerful, uncaused cause. Paul confirmed: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:19-20). Paul preached to the Athenians that God’s creation “has determined their [mankind’s] preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).
Second, nature shows that we are not in control (Job 38-41). As much as Job wanted to meet God in person to prove his righteous character and his undeserved suffering, when God finally spoke to him through the “whirlwind” and asked him numerous questions about the creation of this world and the nature of its creatures, Job could say nothing further and dropped his oath of innocence (Job 40:3-5; 42:1-6).
Third, while it is true that all natural calamities are not deliberately sent by God as punishment, we do know from Scripture that some calamities were sent to motivate God’s people to repent. Amos 4:6-11 serves to illustrate this point. Amos spoke of God sending drought, crop disease and locusts, and three times acknowledged, “‘Yet you have not returned to Me,’ Says the Lord” (Amos 4:6, 9, 11). No matter the natural calamity, let us not quit God nor blame Him for any misery, but rather let us acknowledge His power, be confident in His will and use the occasion to evaluate our faith and keep ourselves right with Him!