Thoughts to Ponder

Why?

The tsunami disaster is big news and well it should be. The death toll keeps going up day by day and is nearly 150,000 as I write this article. Many people are asking why God would allow something like this to happen and I even received one e-mail asking me where my God was now.

I think it is normal for people to question where God is when things like this happen, after all it numbs the mind to think of so many people dying. The problem is that we are all to quick to point the finger at God and claim He either doesn't care about human life or that He is just playing with us for His amusement. Is that what is going on? To decide we need to look closely at what has happened.

The tsunami snatched children out of their parents arms. Some children lived while their parents died and some parents lived while their children died. These are heart wrenching stories. As parents and as children we can all understand how horrible this must be.

Take a look at an article written by Jeff Jacoby titled When love matters more than blood. You can read the entire article here:

Speaking of adopted children taken from adoptive parents Jacoby writes:

It had happened in Illinois, when 4-year-old Danny Warburton ("Baby Richard") was pried, sobbing, from the only parents he had ever known and given to the stranger who happened to have sired him. It had happened in Michigan, when a screaming and terrified Jessica DeBoer was taken from her mother and father and sent to a couple in Iowa because judges had concluded that the biology involved in conceiving Jessica counted for more than the love and sacrifice involved in raising her.

The way it is happening now in Florida to Evan Parker Scott.

Evan was born in Jacksonville to Amanda Hopkins on May 5, 2001. On hand to witness the blessed event were Dawn and Gene Scott, the childless couple with whom Hopkins had agreed to place the baby for adoption. Two days later, the Scotts took Evan home. They have been his adoring parents ever since.

"We never really knew just how... blown away we would be by the love we feel for this very special child," Dawn Scott would later write. "We can't even describe it in words... Evan completes us."

Now that completed little family is being torn apart. By order of Florida Circuit Judge Waddell Wallace III, Evan is about to undergo something most small children experience only in nightmares -- he is going to be sent away from his parents forever.

At 3, of course, Evan is too young to be aware of the circumstances swirling around him. He has no idea that his biological mother was an unmarried 21-year-old who had moved to Jacksonville to get away from Stephen White Jr., the unstable 33-year-old who had impregnated her. He doesn't know that White "has a history of drug use and violent behavior," as Judge Wallace wrote in his Dec. 16 order, or that he was convicted of criminal assault for beating Amanda early in her pregnancy -- a beating severe enough to send her to the hospital.

Evan has no idea that Hopkins willingly placed him with the Scotts for adoption because she knew they could give him a better life than she could. He doesn't understand that White was notified of the pending adoption before he was born, but waited months before taking the legal steps necessary to establish his paternity. He has no sense of the tortuous legal odyssey that ensued when a judge nonetheless allowed White to block the Scotts' adoption and demand custody for himself -- an odyssey that has involved nine judges, endless trips to court, and a blizzard of motions, cross-motions, affidavits, and orders.

All this little boy really knows is that Dawn and Gene Scott are his Mama and his Daddy and always have been. They are his rock -- the one true thing he has always known. Now Evan's rock is about to crumble.

The Scotts have been terminated as his guardians and removed as parties to the case.

This happened in America, not by some disaster but by legal pronouncement. Is this any less horrible for these children then the tsunami was to those who lost their parents to death? I am not trying to make light of the horrific loss of life or personal suffering of the victims of the tsunami, but I am trying to show that we think of ourselves as a civilized nation and yet we allow children to be taken away from loving parents; parents who are the only parents these children have ever known. We loftily claim this is the proper legal thing to do or even that it is best for the child, but we are just fooling ourselves. There is no justice or welfare for the child in this, there is only a legal system which is so blind to personal suffering and child welfare that it can't see what is really going on.

We judge God because children are taken away from loving parents in a natural disaster, yet we allow it to happen in our courts on a regular basis. Do we see ourselves as hypocrites? Not most of us.

We mourn and grieve over the deaths from the tsunami and rightly so, but we seem to forget about those we could have saved. Take for instance Rwanda:

You can read this information here:

Finally, on May 17, 1994, the UN conceded that "acts of genocide may have been committed." At that time, the Red Cross estimated at least 100,000 deaths at the hands of the Hutu extremists, the majority of those being minority Tutsis.

Or how about Sudan: You can read this information here: http://www.refugees.org/news/press_releases/1998/121098.htm

At least 1.9 million people in southern and central Sudan have died during the past 15 years as a direct result of civil war and intentional policies of the Sudan government, according to a newly updated study released today by the U.S. Committee for Refugees. The massive loss of life in Sudan far surpasses the death toll in any other current civil war anywhere in the world.

Or Cambodia: You can read the entire article here:

On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge, a communist guerrilla group led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. They forced all city dwellers into the countryside and to labor camps. During their rule, it is estimated that 2 million Cambodians died by starvation, torture or execution. 2 million Cambodians represented approximately 30% of the Cambodian population during that time.

These are not natural disasters that are hard to anticipate or hard to stop, these are areas where the world has sat on it's hands and ignored the death and suffering. I have listed only a couple, but there are many and the numbers of dead and suffering so far outweigh the death and suffering in Asia from this tsunami that it is staggering. Again I am not trying to down play the disaster that has hit these people and I am glad that people are showing mercy and helping those victims, but I think we are hypocrites to ask where God is in this while we allow a hundred fold suffering to take place and never even raise a hand to stop it.

The death toll of children in the tsunami was terrible. I think everyone feels that the deaths of the children are even more disturbing than of the adults. But again I ask what about those we could save but don't bother to?

The Center for Disease Control's website list the following numbers for abortions done in the United States for the years listed:

(1995) 1,211,000
(1996) 1,222,000
(1997) 900,000
(1998) 884,000
(1999) 862,000
(2000) 857,000
(2001) 853,485

Those numbers are just for the United States, if you look at the estimates worldwide you will find that about 46 million women have abortions per year.

46 million abortions per year!! Those are children who are killed in their mother's womb and yet we have the audacity to wonder why God allows 150,000 people to die in a tsunami!! Our hands are red with innocent blood, our streets are full of innocent blood.

Genesis 9:5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. [NIV]

Maybe the debt is coming due and we all owe the debt because we are all stained with the blood of our fellow man.

After Cain killed Abel God said this:

Genesis 4:10 He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground. [NASB-U]

I have no doubt that the blood of millions of murdered babies are crying out to God for justice. Also the blood of millions of people in Cambodia, Sudan and Rwanda to name just a few.

I am not trying to say that God sent the tsunami as punishment, but how can we say why to God when we are so guilty of allowing murder to take place around us? The Bible tells us that in the last days natural disasters will increase and many people will die in many places. These are signs of the time. I think it is also a way for God to reach out to people one last time before He brings judgment on this world. We can be God's voice by speaking out to protect the innocent, or we can be part of the problem and just sit around and ask - why?

E-Mail Ralph

These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

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January 2005