Does God Care?
In a nutshell, Scripture describes the present world as a once-pristine habitat that has been corrupted by the sins of mankind. God created a perfect environment and reserved a portion of it, the garden of Eden, as man’s initial residence.
From there man was to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Instead, what filled the earth was the sinfulness of Adam and Eve and their posterity, and as a result the world became a very different place. God cursed the ground with thorns; work became arduous; reproduction became life-threatening, and the body was destined for the dust. And fellowship with a holy God and loving Creator was broken.
And yet, the question of the ages has not been, “How could we be so foolish?” but “Does God care about us?” Every generation of humanity has replicated the sin of our parents. Every single man and woman has denied God, rebelled against Him and lived for themselves. Intellectuals have concocted countless theories of God’s non-existence in spite of the evidence to the contrary embedded within the cosmos and even our very bodies.
We have indulged ourselves into insensibility, hated and murdered one another, lied, cheated and corrupted ourselves and our world in every way imaginable. Yet, we sit amid the stench of our own mess and lament, “Does God care?”
Sadly, the innocent suffer the most. Children, our most precious commodity, so pure and unspoiled, contract disease, suffer abuse and learn ungodliness from their own parents. They are aborted, orphaned, neglected and otherwise failed by guardians immersed in the madness of their godless lives.
Jesus sternly warns against such: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matt. 18:6-7). And yet, when the innocent suffer as a result of man’s own actions we glare toward heaven and mutter, “Does God care?”
God has, in fact, answered this plaintive cry, and his answer is amazing: He doesn’t explain the underlying cause of every occasion of suffering. He doesn’t explain in detail what He wants us to learn from each episode. And He expects us to see through the pain and acknowledge both His existence and His goodness.
But His ultimate answer is most astounding of all: Instead of growling at us that we’ve made our own bed and we ought lie in it, God comes into the world and suffers with us. The cross is the eternal answer to the question, “Does God care?” It is the strength we need to endure the hardships that we witness or that befall us. While this won’t satisfy the determined skeptic, and even believers at times will wish for more explanation, the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross say to every person, “I care this much.”