What is God’s will? This week another congressman made comments about rape pregnancies. Senator Richard Mourdock of Indiana said that “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen”. This was a different take on the subject from Rep. Todd Akin who in August stated that “from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare.If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down”. So does that make it “God’s will” that a woman would conceive through rape?
If its Gods will that you become pregnant through rape, does that mean rape is okay? After all the rapist is just following Gods will. Senator Mourdock responded to such a claim as being “sick and twisted” and “no where near what I said“. But is it really that far off? If it’s “God’s Will”, why would it be wrong? Why would anything be wrong? Why then would God give commandments dictating what is right and wrong if everything occurs through His will. The same argument can then be made for every “sin”.
It’s God’s will that they died in a terrorist bombing
It’s God’s will that they have cancer
It’s God’s will that I steal that money from my employer
And if that’s the case where does that leave arguments for homosexuality, adultery, divorce, suicide, and a plethera of moral dilemna’s that Christian’s face? If it is all God’s will, how then can we as finite beings begin to comprehend what an infinite God would have happen in our short existence? As the apostle Paul puts it “For who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?” (Rom 11:34). And remember, the same God that Mr. Mourdock and millions of other Christian’s follow is essentially the same God of Abraham that the Muslims and Jews follow too.
Growing up a preacher’s kid, I sat through my fair share of sermons. Sometimes two and three a weekend. While there aren’t many that I say really stood out, I do remember a sermon he preached a sermon about God’s Will. The sermon focused on the story of Job, who’s life falls apart as the result of this cat and mouse game that God and Lucifer play to test his faith. God doesn’t send the problems on Job, but rather allows Lucifer to. The point of my dad’s sermon wasn’t that all the wrongs in life are “God’s Will”, but rather the results of sin in the world. If you sat back and started saying that the bad things that happen are God’s will, then you’re saying it is God’s will to harm you. God’s will is what God wants to do and see done. And those plans are blessings and greatness. Even in the Old Testament where we find a lot of “Vengeful, jealous God” references we find in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. That is the will of God.
Now please don’t read too much into this and break it down to a prosperity gospel where if you get cancer it’s because of sin in your life and if you love God you’ll be rich and healthy. Sometimes like Job, life in a world broken with sin just happens. The actions of this world are not always Gods will. God didn’t create sin. God must allow sin as the consequence to having the free will to choose whether or not to worship Him. The consequence of not following God is sin. The same as the consequence of not exercising is getting fat. If I don’t follow the instructions of my trainer regarding regular workouts and diet, how then is it their fault that I get fat and have health problems? And as believers looking forward to Jesus’ return, we have a hope that one day God’s perfect will will be manifested in ways no one could imagine.