How long, O Lord? – Psalm 89:46a.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there’s an announcement that the King of Jews is born.
The current king, Herod, is feeling extra insecure.
According to the rumors, this new born has a legitimate claim to the throne, he is of David’s lineage. Herod was placed there because he was a suave politicians and a friends with the right people in the Roman government.
Matthew writes, “When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him.” (Matt 2: 3)
Like really? All Jerusalem?
Most likely, those who were in power; those who were in the good graces of the king; those who were habituating the palace; those who were in the King’s inner circle — they were the ones who would truly be frightened with the king; those who has much to lose with this announcement of a new king.

Herod has to protect his seat of power. At all costs.
And his solution was infanticide.

It’s difficult to be rational when confronted with death of innocent children.
It’s not something that is foreign to us, in these times.

Where was God when the children were being slaughtered?
How could a good God allow such things to happen?
How could an all powerful God allow such travesties to happen?

Usually, there are no answers that satisfies such questions.

This is because of the sin that is in the world.
Yea okay. But how… fair? good? just? is it when the innocent are being slaughtered?
I mean, there’s always this naive, unjust narrative that floats around when an unarmed black person is killed by the police: you know, if they just followed instructions and obeyed the police, none of this would’ve happened.
Breonna Taylor was sleeping.

God promises to be in our suffering and suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character and character, hope. And as Paul says, hope does not put us to shame. So these things happen to put hope in us.

What’s the point of having hope after you’re slaughtered…

This is all part of God’s plan. Everything will have a happy, good ending.
Sure, okay. But the good ending doesn’t undo the damage.

We turn our angst and blame towards God because… we don’t know what to do; we don’t know how to make sense of such violent nonsense.

Ah. But who was really responsible for the slaughter of the children in Matthew?
No. It’s Herod.
This suffering was caused by human decisions and actions.
Why didn’t God prevent?
A true but unpopular and un-satisfying answer is: free will; the freedom we Americans love to tout.

That’s a risk that God takes: that humans still have the ability to choose what they want to chose.

We are confronted with evils in our world all the time.
How many mass shootings have there been this past few months?
How many mass shootings have we Americans had to endure in just 2023?

We’re asking the wrong question when we turn towards God and ask, “Why did this happen?” and/or demand “Why didn’t God do anything to prevent it?”
Not only are we asking the wrong question, we’re asking the wrong entity.

The real question about evil is not where does it come from, but what are we going to do about it? (Anna Case-Winters)

Thoughts and prayers have never been enough.
The best kind of prayer involves action.
You pray for a new employment whilst applying for new jobs.

Thoughts and prayers are empty virtue signals and really, Anthony Jeselnik says it best:

We hide behind other virtue signals — like fighting to pass a bill that all classrooms must post the 10 Commandments — as if that’ll be a daily reminder of the presence of God.

The love of Christ is best manifested in human beings practicing the sacrificial love that Jesus modeled — not through some bill that enforces a piece of paper on a classroom that no one’s going to pay attention to but allow the “christian” politicians to pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

Where were you when I was hungry?
Jesus, didn’t you hear? I passed the bill that forced classrooms to hang the 10 Commandments in our schools!
Where were you when I was in prison?
Didn’t you see all the “thoughts and prayers” I posted on all my social media accounts?

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
What’s is it called when we do nothing but hope for better results?

Because the Onion always reproduces the same headline when a mass shooting takes place: “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens”
The leading cause of death in children in our country is gun violence.
I opened up this post with a question the Psalmist asked:How long O Lord?

Again — more than ever, I feel like that question is addressed to the wrong entity.

The real question about evil is not where does it come from, but what are we going to do about it?

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