That age-old question came to my mind during a message yesterday in a church we were visiting.
The pastor's sermon was centered on "congregational unity" which seems always a struggle among humans. Since we were visitors, it gave me time to think about an even bigger picture.
If we are God's creation, this Being that sits over billions of galaxies, and we are the beloved of God as implied in scripture, then why do bad things happen, even when people are good, especially those who seem never to have "sinned", they also subjected to disease and suffering?
I would leave this alone had I not observed the pain of many more pure than myself, and experienced Divine intervention at times in my own life in moments undeserved!
Theologians too often provide quick and simple answers sufficient for some, however I tend to always process the why behind my faith! Surely, I am not alone!
Actually, I don't believe we are the only Beings and frankly, scripture doesn't imply that. Neither am I talking about physical extraterrestrials, but rather spiritual beings other than us, who cohabit these galaxies.
Isaiah 14:12-17, Ezekiel 28:16 and John the Revelator in Revelation 12:7-9 reference beings that rebelled against God, cast down from the heavens. The Devil, Lucifer, specifically exiled to the Earth.
If you believe the scriptures, you know you are not alone in this universe! There are other Beings, though none in bodily form as are you and I.
Just a few posts back, I mentioned the notion that we are in reality spirits, housed in physical bodies, thus what we sense spirit to spirit as "personality."
One author writes, that we are designed with the capability of absorbing physical energy by way of our sensory organs, providing us the "illusion of matter" and thus the survival of our temporary physical beings.
That's a little on the weird side but in reality, every thing that we call matter is in fact composed of particles of energy. We call clusters of these particles, molecules. Yet ever smaller particles exist beyond the sub-atomic, which quantum physics now implies may defy the more concrete Newtonian Laws of early physics.
As I stated earlier, I am speaking beyond my mental capacity and knowledge base at this point.
My purpose in writing is to communicate, more clearly than I was taught, the probability of beings other than us that in fact influence our behavior. If so, is there then some meaningful drama being played out of which we are a part, thus the answer to the age old question of "why bad things happen to good people" with God seldom intervening , beyond the strength and courage that sustains us.
It seems to me based upon scripture, that long before Creation as we know it, something happened in the "heavens" when Beings likely superior to us with similar free will usurped an all powerful "I Am that I Am" in some failed takeover!
Perhaps the Big Bang as some call it, occurred as a result of the need for a place of occupancy, so as to stage a demonstration for those once exiled beings. The true and merciful nature of the I Am, would then play out as planned "even before the foundations of the earth" rather than destroying these Beings "cast out of heaven."
Lesser Beings, humans we call ourselves, were then created in the "image of God," given the same "free-will" as was the case with the "fallen", ourselves placed on stage of sorts, preserved and redeemed as a demonstration of the love of God. A love so merciful and full of grace, a convincing story is now playing out in this battle between good and evil.
We lesser beings struggle, framing all sorts of religious rules for our own remedy, only to be rescued repeatedly by the I Am, justifying the action taken upon the first insurrection.
One of my long deceased Gideon brothers, an attorney, used to play this out as a demonstration of grace to even Lucifer himself, though John the Revelator implies differently.
Moses attempted to communicate some of the "why" through his garden thesis in Genesis, walking us out of a similar rebellion, given insights provided him by the I Am. He blamed the problem on a woman and a serpent, however, both Adam and Eve were preserved though they too, were exiled.
Man immediately fell victim to the lure of selfishness and greed, with stories offered of Cain and Abel, then Noah's family's narrow escape. Even later, Abraham's deliverance from idolatry and the concept of sacrificial atonement was launched.
With each failure, Jehovah reveals more remedy, grace and love, even though man's best attempts at goodness do little more than tighten down their dependence on a set of religious laws, amplifying their rebellion. Sounds like what might have happened previously among the angels.
God goes along with mankind, exhausting the benefit of man's best spiritual ingenuity, always mindful of the pressure and influence of these more powerful evil Beigns, often unseen. Never breaching their free will, but offering grace if and when accepted.
Eventually God even appears in bodily form, himself in Christ keeping the very strenuous laws of man, all designed to appease the wrathful God perceived by their idolatrous ancestors. God, in Christ by way of keeping their laws, fits the bill of their "Spotless Lamb," while also demonstrating a better way of grace and love. He embodies full compassion, even toward those who demand His slaughter.
Still mankind missed the essense of the sacrificed Lamb of God. This God is not wrathful, demanded no sacrifice, but rather, God is love, period! Loving us so much that he (pardon the pronoun) willingly offered Himself as the sacrifice we thought required!
Whatever reason behind that earlier mutiny has been refuted with an offer of grace for those earlier fallen, an example of One all inclusive in mercy, something even churches have muddled in their attempts to deliver mankind again, from a wrath that never existed.
Maybe one day all spirits willing to choose the way of love, the I Am that I Am, will again be at peace forever, occupying the billions of galaxies designed and awaiting our habitation.
In essence, as John saw it, a New Heaven and a New Earth.