The Inexplicable

Have you come across any bizarre Bible stories lately? I have. I shake my head and wonder how they got into God’s best-selling book. Some stories terrify the reader and defy explanation. Many have no resolution, and no purpose that I can decipher. I’m puzzled why God includes these accounts—they call into question his sovereignty and his love.

One example. Herod the Great, frustrated because he couldn’t find the baby, referred to as the king of the Jews, ordered the killing of all male babies under two years old, in the Bethlehem region—every baby boy. These innocent families did nothing to warrant this. They were Jews who happened to be living in the wrong place at the wrong time. These are God’s people that he loves. I would have left this story out of the Bible. It saddens me and dwelling on it only leads to more questions.

Could it be, that God includes these devastating accounts because these events mirror the hurt-filled world in every era? They give a realistic picture of the consequences of this fallen world. How many senseless crimes and horrific tragedies slide across our screens daily? We don’t know what to make of them. We wonder with anxious hearts where this crazy world is heading.

So what do we do with these horrendous stories in the Bible, and the equally tragic stories we hear on the news? What do we do when we can’t see God’s sovereignty or his love? A few thoughts from Scripture that insert hope into troubling events:

• We ask as Abraham did, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25.

• We acknowledge that we are the clay, not the Potter. Isaiah 45:9

• We say with Paul, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.

• We remind ourselves, “Now we see in a mirror dimly, one day we shall see face to face. Now we know only in part. One day we shall know fully” 1 Corinthians 13:12.

• We trust God for the things he has explained, so that we’ll learn to trust him for the things he hasn’t. We give the benefit of the doubt to the Author of the story who knows how it will end.

We don’t need to know the why of every thorny circumstance, if we know the who. Who is the One who sovereignly controls the universe and sees what we can’t see? He doesn’t need to keep proving his love. He’s already done that on the cross, and hasn’t changed his good intentions.

The mystifying events we read about in the Bible, hear about on the news, and experience in our own affairs, aren’t reasons for fear and anxiety. God is at the helm and knows where he’s leading the ship. He holds the world with nail-pierced hands, and will.not.let.go.

I welcome your feedback.

6 comments to The Inexplicable

  • As the days grow darker and darker,we must cling closer and closer to the One
    who promised He will never leave us. Memorizing His Word brings such peace.

  • Beverly Schlomann

    I’ve been reading through Job, a chapter a day, on the weekdays. Just reading one chapter at a time, it’s been so frustrating to read of the “3 friends” faulty theology and their judgment of Job’s character, and to read (and feel) Job’s despair — and I wondered, “why is this in the Bible?”
    But as I was “pondering” — I realized that, because of Jesus death on the cross, because of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in my life, I will NEVER feel alone and abandoned; having the Bible means that I have God revealing Himself and His ways; and, “watching” these friends throughout the book, I have become more resolved to be a compassionate, godly friend to those in pain.
    Reading Job has made me more thankful for what I do have in Christ, and more motivated to compassion for others. Some of these awful, confusing stories show us what not to do. Job has made me more appreciative of Jesus, and His promise to be with me always . .

  • Jenny

    I remember a time when I was really wrestling with something in the Word. It was really an oppressive time in my spirit. One day God sent me a reassurance. I read this on my daily verse calendar: “Don’t weary yourself trying to unscrew the inscrutable.” The associated verse was Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” The Lord met me where I was at, and it was such a blessing to my heart. He is so good.

    • Jenny, That’s a perfect verse for this topic. God has not revealed all mysteries. We don’t need to have answers to all our questions. Thank you Jenny for that timely reminder.