When we consider the Boston bombing and the trial of abortionist Gosnell, we wonder, What is God doing?
It’s always dangerous to make specific pronouncements from the papers. There are two general principles to glean, though.
God is awakening us to a sense of evil, and of just punishment for evil. Callers to talk shows responding to the bombing say things like, “I hope the bombers suffer a long time for this.”
And the media guy searches for something traumatic in the bomber’s life that led to him doing this. Society considers this an aberration, something abnormal in the heart of man. But this evil lurks in every heart since Adam and Cain. Sin is insulting and defying God, and the sinner doesn’t care. Sin hurts other people, and doesn’t care. That’s what we saw the bombers do, in an extreme case. We just take what we want without regard for others. Without God’s grace restraining the sinful nature in my heart, I do that, too. We see pictures of Tsarnaev all over the news, and our reaction is aversion and isolation. Who is this freak of nature? He’s hardly human. But that’s exactly what sin does to people, and we are sinners like he. God is calling us to see fully the twistedness in our hearts, to repent of our sins and to see the catastrophic consequences they can bring.
God is calling to us to see that we reap what we sow. We have glorified fame and violence for decades now as a society. Why are we surprised when thrill seeking, glory seeking young men do what they’ve been taught?
The spirit of the age teaches us to hate the enemy, whether that is our enemy the Muslims or their enemy, America and the west. Do not forget our Lord’s teaching in Matt 5: ““You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” Of course bombing are more heinous sins, but the difference from your bitterness against your sibling or former friend is one of degree, not of kind. We are all sinners stamped with the image of Adam, and we all breathe this toxic cultural air, if we’re not careful.
Now, what sets us apart is that we acknowledge our sin and repent, and they don’t. They see it and laugh at the carnage. We see what we are and turn away in horror, resolving never to dishonor God or hurt our loved ones like that again. And that’s what makes this part of our worship service so critical.