“Why didn’t God stop the tragic mass murder in Saskatchewan?”*
All of us are asking the question, but are we certain it’s the right one to ask?
If we ask the Lord, “Why did you let those people die?” He might well reply and ask us, “Why did I give them life at all?” If we ask the Lord, “Why do You tolerate not only mass murder, but any evil, suffering, tragedy, sin, and death?” His reply might well be, “Why do I allow goodness, flourishing, joy, happiness, and life to be enjoyed by your species?”
Indeed, why does the Lord let anyone live?
Suppose our lives end tomorrow. “Why did You let me die?” is a far less mysterious question to ask the Lord than “Why did you make me?” This is not meant to diminish the tragedy or evil nature of the murders. What happened was appalling and wrong. We merely mean to demonstrate, in our questioning of why such tragedy occurred, that sudden death is not as surprising as sudden life. After all, death is a certainty for all of us. How, then, can it be surprising when it comes?
Life, on the other hand, is a surprise (and a good one, at that). So in order to ask God the question, “Why do you let men die?” we must first answer the far more haunting question, “Why does God let men live?”
As such, questions like “If God is good, why do bad things happen?” was never so mysterious to me as the question, “If God is good, then why did He create me—a fallen, sinful, human who naturally rebels against Him?” The existence of suffering and death is not as confusing as the existence of happiness and joy. The exterior of the home is no stranger than its interior.
In this, I fail to understand why the existence of evil leads men to revolt against God, just as I fail to understand why a child who scraped his knee should conclude his parent no longer exists. Neither scenario means that a father doesn't exist or is cruel, quite the contrary. The child only exists because there is a father who existed before him and made him.
We then ask the Lord, “Well, why do You allow these bad things to happen?” Why didn’t the Lord stop these murders? "I don't know, but it wasn’t His will to stop them," is our musing. How can we understand the mind of eternity?
The fact that temporal life is taken from us is not as hard for me to swallow as it is that temporal life was given to us at all. Again, this is in no way meant to diminish or belittle the tragedy that occurred in Canada’s most humble province. I also realize this article is not a comfort to those families mourning the loss of children, parents, siblings, and friends. Indeed, a different article must be written for comfort.
What happened in Saskatchewan broke our hearts, and as the province wept, we wept with her. Those two monsters—let loose because Canada’s justice system is appallingly lenient—committed the most evil of crimes that makes God burn with hot and righteous fury.
“But then why didn’t He intervene?!” we ask once more. Like the answer given to Job, we must first capture and cut off the head of Leviathan to show that we are worthy, and intellectually capable, of understanding the Lord’s response.**
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*Our atheist counterparts ask this question as a sort of Socratic tactic to prove there is no God. I will not concern myself with their arguments in this article.
**To read more on this, see Job 41:1-11