“Dear Dr. Sala,” writes a friend of Guidelines. “Your radio messages…are also uplifting. I oftentimes tell myself, what is life for? Why should one person be more hurt than others? Why must one’s life be lived until you succumb to death? Why can’t one evaporate, vanish on one’s command, if life is untenable? Can you give some answers to these questions?”
Wow! I’m reminded of the professor who asked his class to write a history of God, man, and the devil in one page. Why? Why does God not control the typhoons which rage? Why does he allow deranged individuals such as Hitler to send millions to their deaths in the concentration camps of World War II? Why does He allow some to be born beautiful and others to be ugly? Why suffering? Why should babies die?
The question, “Why?” is endless and it echoes on and on down through the centuries. The fact is that God never gave us the burden of understanding, as C. S. Lewis once pointed out. Instead He gave us the responsibility of obedience. If you struggle with the issue of “Why?” I’d suggest that you begin to study the Bible seriously. It’s the only book in the world which answers those questions. Philosophy will not, nor will science, or mythology. History comes close to it because it tells us that something is wrong with mankind because we never seem to learn from our mistakes and failures.
The Bible is the only book in the world that answers the tough questions of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where do I go five minutes after my death? But even then, majoring on the “Why?” is not as meaningful as “Why not?” The fact is, only God gives purpose to an imperfect, confusing world.
I’ve discovered that what I do understand gives me far more trouble than what I don’t understand. So I have a choice: I can go through life making excuses for myself because “this is not fair” or “that is not right,” or else I can focus on a single issue: “What does God want me to do?” Obedience brings God into my life and gives it a third dimension. “Understanding why” is something which I have to leave with God, believing that He is faithful and that He is a God who loves me and cares about my life.
Long ago Moses wrote, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands” (Deuteronomy 7:9). Notice what Moses is saying. He says, first, that God is God. Then He describes Him as “the faithful God.” He tells us that He keeps covenant, or He keeps His word to a thousand generations. Stop. Was Moses simply saying that God keeps His word forever, or did He mean for a thousand generations? No matter what you say, you’re included. If a generation is about 40 years, and you multiply that by a 1,000, there’s nothing to worry about.
Moses said that God keeps covenant with those who love Him and keep His commandments–which means obedience. May I say it again? God didn’t give you the burden of understanding, but the responsibility of obedience.
Mrs. Albert Einstein was once asked if she understood the theory of relativity and she replied, “No, but Albert does. And he is to be trusted.” Ah, what theology. You may not understand a great deal in life. I don’t, but God does, and He is to be trusted and obeyed. It’s just that simple. Don’t make life too hard by trying to understand what only God can fathom. Obedience is a path of joy and happiness.
Resource Reading: [not stated in this commentary]
Text: He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations. Psalm 105:8
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – October 11, 2017