He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010 

Why Does God Not Restrain Sin More Often?

Whatever month of the year you choose, heartrending calamities fill the news from coast to coast and around the world. And if we had the connections to know about them, we would see that they fill our churches as well. Calamities strike the world of unbelievers and the children of God every day with mind-numbing pain. Some of these tragedies come directly from natural disasters, and some come directly from the sinful acts of man against man.

Just when you think violent crime in one state is decreasing, you read about a major city where the murder rate is up 50 percent in the last seven years. Just when you hear that drug use is on the decline among teenagers, you read about execution-style murders among our youth.

Somewhere in the news miners are trapped deep underground, and family members are huddled in a church hoping against hope. An interstate bridge collapses, and a just-married husband doesn’t arrive home for supper—ever. Planes collide, and bodies fall from the sky. Trains explode in flesh-burning balls of flame. The most stable countries suddenly burst into ethnic violence, and headlines venture the term genocide. A father throws his children off a bridge to spite his wife. Little girls are kidnapped and made to serve as sex slaves. Ethnic and religious minorities are systematically starved out of existence. Tsunamis sweep away whole villages and churches. Earthquakes bury thirty thousand people in a night. Suddenly twenty million people are displaced with South Asian flooding. And forty-six million pre-born babies are killed every year around the world.

Does this have anything to do with Jesus Christ—the risen king of the universe who stops the threatening wind and waves with a single word (Luke 8:24–25), who commands the dead and they live (John 11:43–44), who makes the lame walk and the blind see and the deaf hear (Matt. 11:5), who feeds five thousand with a few loaves of bread (Mark 6:41–42), who created the universe and everything in it (John 1:3), and who upholds the universe with the word of his power (Heb. 1:3) and says, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18)?

Surely, this Jesus can stop a tsunami, and make the wind blow a jet off its deadly course toward a crowded tower, and loosen the stranglehold of an umbilical cord from around an infant’s neck, and blind the eyes of torturers, and stop a drought. Surely he can do this and a thousand other acts of restraint and rescue. He has done it before. He could do it now. What is his reason for not doing it more often than he does?

- John Piper

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