Or Not! I’ve been a paralegal for nearly 20 years working primarily on personal injury and wrongful death cases from the civil side of things. Remember the OJ trial? There was a criminal trial where the State was seeking a guilty or not guilty verdict punishable by imprisonment then there was a civil trial where the family filed a lawsuit for wrongful death punishable by a financial judgment. Criminal trials are governed by criminal codes and require a unanimous jury verdict while civil trials are governed by civil law codes and only require 10 of the 12 jurors to agree to the verdict. They are very different things.
While working on civil wrongful death cases I sometimes hear, and most often by religious people, things like “it was all part of God’s plan” or “but what is God’s purpose for that” (or maybe something like “heaven needed another angel”). And, to be honest, each and every time someone says that to our clients I become annoyed and sad.
In the past, I worked alongside a woman who was gunned down by her husband. And believe it or not, religious people have told the family “it’s all part of God’s plan” and “God has a purpose for it.” To that I say puhleeze (and honestly I even roll my eyes). Unless your family member has been gunned down by a jealous and angry person , please just offer to help in any way that you can and zip it.
My husband and I have committed to reading the entire Bible chronologically in 2014 (chronological bible). Today, we are only on Day 2 (January 2) and it is already so clear that God had a great plan in mind for man but that man had his own free will and the ability to choose whether to obey or disobey God (sin).
Adam and Eve gave birth to Cain and Abel. Abel brought God an excellent offering but Cain did not and Cain became very angry. The Lord said to Cain “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And it’s desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Gen 4:1-12. But Cain did not rule over his emotions rather his emotions and disobedience ruled over him. Cain, in his anger and jealousy, murdered his brother Abel (domestic violence). Cain did not exercise self-control and allowed jealousy and anger to control him to the point that he committed murder. And God was angry and said “What have you done… Now you are cursed and banished from the ground… no longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work. From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.
Does it sound to you like God planned for this to happen and that it all had a purpose? Or does it sound like God was angry with his son for acting out in anger and killing someone? To me, God sounds like a parent. A parent gives birth to a beautiful baby and hopes nothing but the best for that baby and wants that child to grow up healthy and whole and blessed. But the child disobeyed and that made Him angry and so He disciplined the Cain.
Meanwhile, still on Day 2 of this year’s reading, humans are doing more of what they want and are following their own sinful desires and it broke God’s heart. Gen 6:-7 NKJV says “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent and the thoughts of his heart was only evil continentally. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast…for I am sorry that I have made them.” The NLT says “So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.”
Does this sound like God intended and purposed and had a plan for mankind to behave in a wicked fashion? It doesn’t to me. Whether it is “thou shall not murder” or “love thy neighbor”, I have not seen any Biblical evidence that suggests that evil happening is “His plan” and “purpose” for our life. I definitely believe that in our faith in Jesus Christ, God will use all things together for our good and He fills us with faith, hope, and a peace that surpasses understanding even during difficult times. But were our painful circumstances just all part of His plan and what He intended to happen to us? I don’t think so. I believe it breaks God’s heart now just as it did back then because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He loves us so much that He provided us the opportunity to accept his Son as a sacrifice for our past sins and to reconcile us (Christians) to Himself. But the Bible is also very clear about what happens to those who follow wickedness and do not put their faith and hope in God.
Rejecting God and following your own sinful nature is not God’s plan and purpose. It was not then and it is not now. God desires that “all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus who gave Himself a ransom for all…” 1 Tim 2:4-6.
Coffee cheers your way and definitely jump on board and read the Bible with us in 2014. After all, iron sharpens iron.