I picked the book of Daniel for my study.

I was going to skip Chapter one because I have studied Chapter one so many times. But each time I read the Word of God, it changes me in a different way.

I am glad I read Chapter one. I’ve been on Chapter one for two days now.

1:2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.

The Lord delivered Jerusalem into the hands of the enemy.  The nation of Israel was completely taken over, thousands were taken prisoners. How could the Lord allow such calamity to fall on his people? Surely there were many innocent victims, righteous people who did not deserve the devastation to their homes and families.

To be honest, it’s embarrassing for me as a believer to read that the Lord actually made this happen.

But I think: Does it give God pleasure to allow this to happen? Does it hurt him to see his temple, once used as a place of holy worship, now plundered? How does He feel seeing the precious ornaments made for him used for idol worship?

So God, why? Why do you allow suffering, especially if it even hurts you? Why don’t you stop the wars and the tragedies, especially if it hurts your own people?

If we take a still shot of isolated tragedies, it does not make sense. But if we see the entire film strip from beginning to end,  God wisely weaves human history, and at the end, gives the satisfying ending where every part fits, just like a good mystery.

We know this to be true because God does not leave us in the suffering. He is continually at work.

The next mention of God’s hand in Chapter one is God’s favor.

v 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel…

v17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding

If we can see that God allowed suffering in order to achieve a greater good, we would not be asking Why.

Jesus suffered, not just at the cross, but I think in his entire life of 33 years on earth he suffered his fair share, in order to redeem mankind, to achieve a greater good. His suffering is a vital part of the story that contributes to the satisfying ending in the mystery of life.

3 Responses to “Why does God allow suffering?”

  1. Nat Says:

    I found that C.S. Lewis’ “The Problem of Pain” discussed insightful truths about the how and why of suffering.

    It’s certainly easy to point the finger at God, criticize him, try to flee him, etc. when we are hurting. But in my experience, such responses are grounded in selfishly myopic (or altogether incorrect) perspectives of the Lord’s plans and character.

    As George MacDonald says, “The Son of God suffered unto the death not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like his.”

    My discipler put it to me even more bluntly: “When you run away from pain, you’re running away from becoming more like Jesus.”

  2. Joyful Says:

    Nat: yup, we want to share in the power of His resurrection…but we conveniently forget that we also share in the fellowship of his suffering.

    As Greg Koukl says, “…But I’m talking about a frame of mind that we do seem to have, a frame of mind that we are first and our pleasures are first and God owes that to us. And if He denies us our pleasures to any degree, then there must be something wrong with Him.”

  3. Willing to give it all up Says:

    […] am just so impressed with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the book of […]

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