Why Do People Have Jobs?
How many of us truly live by faith? That is to say, how many of us really recognize that we really do live by faith? When we get in our car do we test the brakes to see if they work before we take off? When we turn on a light at home or office do we first say a prayer that it will come on? There are many other examples. Let’s take a tour of our faith.
Did you ever stop to think about how many times God’s people in the Bible found themselves in crisis or tragedy? The vast majority of people in the Bible were in severe difficult times sometime in their lives. The list is far too long for me to enumerate here, but use your imagination. You can probably think of some Bible characters who went through some very difficult situations, just like we all do.
Interestingly enough, people have jobs to solve someone else’s problems. Whatever your job might be it is there to help someone else overcome their obstacles in life and solve their problems in the process. Noah and his family went through difficult times most of their lives. Genesis 6:5 reveals that immorality was accepted by all the people on earth and only Noah and his family was righteous, 6:9. Everyone, except Noah and his family, had turned their backs on God. Second, Noah and his family were blameless. That does not mean they were without sin, but their faith made them blameless. They lived their lives according to God’s standards and not their own.
God was grieved, sad, and hurt because everyone on the whole earth was evil, save Noah and his family, Genesis 6:5-6. What about our earth today? From the lives of Adam and Eve, who lived in a perfect world of innocence and beauty, mankind had quickly fallen to the corrupted world of immorality that Noah had lived in. 1500 years had passed from Adam and Eve to Noah. The earth was corrupt. Evil and sin was common.
Genesis 6:2 tells us of the sexual immorality when God’s men bought in to the culture of the day and took all the wives they wanted. Satan’s purpose is to drag us into the depths of sin and corruption and destroy God’s creation, just like in Genesis 6:11. Look at the headlines in newspapers. Listen to news. Natural disasters, murders, abuse of all kinds. These media are filled with unGodly acts of every kind.
We all have our problems so what do we do? We do what Noah did. We will keep working and being faithful to God. I am sure the crowds came to ridicule Noah; to gather and make fun of him. Noah was following God’s plan. What do you think Noah would be doing right now if he were here? He would be faithful to God and working for God’s benefit.
What are unfaithful people doing? Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:37-39 what they were doing in the time of Noah. Everything in their lives was about them. People don’t necessarily have to get drunk and party to be unGodly. They just need to ignore God and do exactly what they want to do. The attitudes of “I’m Ok-You’re Ok” and “Do your own thing” are attitudes that cause us to ignore God. God saved the few just as he had promised.
Our Response in Difficult Times
Our faith is seldom tested when everything is going our way. When we face dire circumstances in our lives it is the human condition to question the existence of God. This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen. It's an explanation other people will understand. A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists." "Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, ‘If God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving a God who would allow all of these things."’
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist." "How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"
"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers do exist! What happens is people do not come to me." "Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, does exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering.
Our response to difficult times is to obey and remain faithful. God will do our battle and our faith, our trust in God, is absolutely essential. Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in this earthly journey. (to be continued next week)
By God’s Grace,
Rev. Dr. Bobby W. Leggett
Pastor-Trinity Lutheran Church of Blanco