OceanSide church of Christ
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WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?
Victor M. Eskew
A. One does not have to live long to know that pain, suffering, and evil are relentless realities that will not go away until we are in heaven.
B. Many times this pain and anguish come even when we are being good and trying our best to be spiritual people.
C. When the afflictions come, we ask: “Why? Why do bad things happen to good people?”
D. For this next quarter, we will be looking at some of the answers to this question.
E. In this lesson, we want to address some introductory matters.
I. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO GOOD PEOPLE
A. The very first example of a bad things happening to a good person happens very early in the Biblical text (Gen. 4:8).
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
1. According to Genesis 4:4, …the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. In Hebrews 11:4, we learn that Abel was also a man of faith and righteousness.
2. Why did such a bad things happen to such a good man?
B. A bad thing happened to Lot (Gen. 14:12).
And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his good, and departed.
1. According to II Peter 2:7-8, Lot was both “just” and “righteous.”
2. Why would God allow him to be captured and forced from his home and into slavery?
C. Jacob was done wrong even though he fulfilled his part of the agreement with Laban (Gen. 29:20-27).
And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the lave he had to her. And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for a handmaid. And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? Did not I serve with thee for Rachel? Wherefore hast thou beguiled me? And Laban said, It must not be done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfill her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
1. Three things adversely happened to Jacob:
a. Disregarded agreement
b. A wrong wife
c. Seven additional years of labor
2. Why did these bad things happen to a man who was seeking to be honorable?
D. Dinah is raped by Shechem (Gen. 34:1-2).
And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land, And when Shechem the son of Hamar the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
1. Dinah did nothing to deserve such treatment.
2. Why did this evil come upon her?
1. Numerous “bad things” happened to him.
a. Hated by his brothers because of his father’s love for him (Gen. 37:4).
b. Hated, ridiculed, and envied for his dreams (Gen. 37:8, 10).
c. Brothers conspired against him to slay him (Gen. 37:18).
d. Stripped him of his coat and cast him into a pit (Gen. 37:23-24).
e. Sold him into the hand of the Midianites who took him to Egypt (Gen. 37:28).
f. Accused wrongfully by Potipher’s wife (Gen. 39:13-18)
g. Cast into prison (Gen. 39:20).
h. Forgotten by the chief butler after the butler was released from prison (Gen. 40:14, 23).
F. The ultimate example was Jesus.
1. “The ultimate case of a bad thing happening to a truly good person was when the only truly good person, Jesus, was crucified for our sins (21 Reasons Bad Things Happen to Good People, Dave Earley, p. 10).
2. The things Jesus experienced:
a. Emotional anguish
c. Physical pain
d. Spiritual torment
II. FOUR REALITIES PERTINENT TO OUR STUDY
A. God is under no obligation to give us any explanations.
B. God has given us plenty of explanation if we will only look for it and accept it.
C. God can do more than one good thing through the bad things that happen to us.
D. God knows what it is to suffer, and He knows how to help us in our suffering.
III. MAN’S ASSUMPTION IN SUFFERING: God is to blame!
A. The reasoning behind the assumption:
1. The word is full of evil and suffering.
2. God created the world (Gen. 1:1).
3. Thus, He must be the One to blame.
B. The answer:
1. God created the world “very good” (Gen. 1:31).
2. God created man with the ability to choose.
a. Choice is the essence of love.
b. Choice always involves a risk.
3. Man chose evil (Gen. 3:6).
4. Man’s choice brought evil into the world (Rom. 5:12).
5. His choice had lasting consequences.
a. A cursed ground (Gen. 3:17-18)
b. Death (Gen. 3:19)
A. God often produces good things in our lives from the bad.
B. Instead of being bitter, we must be thankful for all the blessings we enjoy.
C. We can anticipate the perfect, pain-free life we will enjoy in heaven.