Will these tragedies never end?

No, awful tragedies on our planet will not end until God has pronounced judgment on every god that holds us in its grip and we are free at last. It’s nothing new, he’s done it before, when he freed Israel from Egypt. Ten tragic plagues later, the grip Egypt held over Israel was broken, but the purpose of the plagues wasn’t to punish the Egyptians, it was “to bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt,” Exodus 12:12. It was their gods he was aiming at, not the people.

There may be some element of punishment on us in the tragedies that occur, to wake us up to our helplessness in ruling this planet without his guidance, but God’s main purpose in the awful things happening is to “destroy all dominion, authority and power” on this planet and “put all his enemies under his feet,” 1 Corinthians 15:24-25.

Are we the enemies he’s talking about? No. We’ve acted like his enemies and been stupidly arrogant in our resistance to him, but it’s never been his plan to destroy us. He sent Jesus to rescue us, not punish us. And is it our “dominion, authority and power” he’s destroying? No, because he’s the one who puts people in power and gives them authority (Romans 13:1-2). Our leaders may do a horrible job of ruling, but they’re not God’s enemies.

God’s enemies are those crafty hidden powers that conceal the truth about him. He made that clear in the book of Genesis, when he actually created a crafty creature to reveal what these hidden powers are up to. He warned Israel too, before they entered Canaan, about the gods they would encounter that would endlessly try to draw the Israelites away from him. It’s these hidden powers that deceive us that are God’s enemies.

So how do all these tragedies going on in our world right now release us from their grip? Well, every tragedy that happens is revealing a god we’ve been taken in by. When a tragic shooting occurs it shatters the god that makes us think we’re all knowing. Everyone asks, “Why?” Why would someone do such a horrible thing? And no one can figure it out. It’s beyond us. And when floods, fires and hurricanes take a terrible toll on human lives they shatter the gods that make us think we’re in control. We’ve been made to think we’re indestructible, so who needs God, but in fact we are very fragile.

Tragedies, therefore, are shattering the gods that make us think we are secure in our own strength and ability. And God will keep shattering these gods until we are free of them all at last.


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