Throughout the Scriptures and particularly in the prophets it is abundantly clear that God deals with his people covenantally. And the basic conditions of this covenant are that God promises to bless faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the obedience that flows from it and he promises to curse unbelief and disobedience. This week we have witnessed yet another horrific tragedy in our nation, this time on the campus of Virginia Tech. We are not inspired prophets, and therefore we are not called upon to make particular judgments or declarations regarding particular people or events. Yet, this is an opportunity to consider tragedy in general, and it will not do for God’s people to respond by shrugging their shoulders and acting as though everything that happens in this world is a grand, inscrutable mystery, sort of like being confused and astonished when a wine glass shatters after being thrown to the ground.
We are a nation full of millions of Christians and we are a nation which supports a multi-billion dollar pornography business, a nation that has slaughtered millions of unborn children, a nation that celebrates the perversion of homosexuality, and the list goes on. We must recognize that Christians are keeping all of these industries and perversions running. And Christians are holding memorial services for this week’s tragedy praying together with Muslims and Jews and Buddhists, praying to some idol in their imaginations. Surely there are faithful Christians affected by these events, surely they will cry out to the Father of our Lord Jesus, and they will be comforted. But Allah will give no comfort, the god of the Jews cannot come near, Buddha is dead and buried, and the god of the dollar bill is deaf to all their pleas. Jeremiah says, “O Lord are not your eyes on the truth? You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; you have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to return. Therefore I said, surely these are poor. They are foolish…” (5:3-4) When a nation on this earth is full of people called by the name Christian and they are simultaneously participating in all manner of idolatry, perversion, and violence we cannot act confused or surprised when disasters and tragedies begin to afflict them. This is the biblical pattern; sin will be judged; God is not mocked.
So what must our response be to all these things? First, we must cry out to the Triune God to have mercy and compassion on those who were affected by these events to give them comfort and peace because we worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the God of all comfort. And we must ask God to have mercy on us as a nation and plead with Him to grant us reformation. Secondly, we must reject all syncretism, every attempt to water down the Christian God. We are Trinitarians. We worship God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. All other gods are idols. Finally, we must insist that sin always ruins lives and reject all Darwinian psychobabble that tries to find the ultimate causes of these events in psychological evaluations. Sin is the problem with this world, and unconfessed and unrestrained it always ends in sorrow, darkness, and death. And therefore we must begin with ourselves, confessing and forsaking all that we have added to our nation’s plight, all that is contrary to the Word of God, every way in which we have broken covenant and not lived by faith.