Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. Daniel 6:16-18
Darius pretty much says it is up to God to take care of Daniel. While that is true it also gives the king an out. He has taken the blame off him and put it on God. Then when the lions kill Daniel God takes the blame. Even then Darius conscience still bothers him. He is in no mood to be entertained and he spends a sleepless night.
We too are quick to blame God or invoke God’s will on others as if we have some secret insight into God’s mind. We just cannot get past the image of some wrathful God hurling disaster down on those who displease Him. When New Orleans was devastated by hurricane Katrina too many were ready and willing to call it God’s wrath of judgment on such a sinful city. But was New Orleans that more sinful and deserving of God’s wrath than say my hometown of Houston or most any other large city? I say Houston can hold its own when it comes to sinful activity.
Unfortunately after almost every disaster, natural or manmade, some self-righteous person, yes most likely a Christian, is ready to let the world know that God has spoken. Usually about a city not their own or people not like them. So does God really visit His judgment on people and cities like New Orleans? Not that He can’t or even that he does but we seem to do an awful lot on our own when it comes to these disasters.
Let’s look at New Orleans. This is a city built mostly below sea level at the mouth of the largest river in the USA. Then we built levies and such around the city to keep the water out. Of course they also do a great job of keeping the water in. It should have come as no surprise that Katrina was able to do so much damage. The real question should have been how was that city so lucky for so long?
We build right on the ocean and wonder why our buildings get destroyed. We live in cities where tornadoes are a constant threat or earthquakes happen regularly and when they do happen we blame God. Someone lives a lifestyle we disapprove of and when it catches up to them we invoke God. Smug in the knowledge that we live the righteous life and it won’t happen to us.
I believe that sometimes God does punish us in the here and now. I also believe I am in no way qualified to tell when it is God or us. What I am certain of is that one day everyone will be judged by God. Punishment will be handed out. For some it will be eternal separation from God. For those who chose to follow Jesus, our punishment has already been meted out on an innocent. For us there will be no more punishment only eternity with God.
Have a blessed day,