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Acts of God

You’re familiar with the term “Acts of God.” This is a phrase used in legal and insurance circles to describe natural disasters such as tornadoes and floods. A few years ago an American politician refused to sign a bill because it included this term. The politician, also a Baptist minister, explained, ''I feel that I have indeed witnessed many 'acts of God,' but I see His actions in the miraculous sparing of life, the sacrifice and selfless spirit in which so many responded to the pain of others.''

Though this politician met with a bit of scorn, or at the very least, sarcastic amusement, I quite admire him for wanting to save God’s reputation.

I wonder if he was thinking about Job 1:19 which describes a mighty wind sweeping in from the desert and causing a house to collapse killing Job’s seven sons and three daughters. Given what we know from the previous verses in Job, this was an act of Satan. What are the chances the state senate would change the wording to “acts of Satan?”

Some believers may think this theology is lacking. Truth be told, the Bible does portray God as the one who conceded certain powers to Satan in the first place (Job 1:12), just as He does to humans.

I don’t have a problem believing that God is the Prime Mover. It makes perfect sense to me that in a universe made up of good men and bad men, good angels and bad ones, tragedies happen and when they do God always uses them for good. But does that mean God initiates the tragedies? Personally, I don’t think so.

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Reader Comments (1)

Bravo!!! Great article. I think this phrase definitely deserves greater reflection amongst those who call themselves Christians. Paul seems to encourage the Church this way in Col 2:8

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ."

The phrase "elemental spiritual forces of this world" is what best fits within the category of this article. The greek for "elemental spiritual forces" is stoicheion and of course the world is Kosmos, a place that currently is under the disarmed influence of demonic powers. What is brilliant about Paul's encouragement here is that we are to watch out that we do not find ourselves "deceived." The bad thing about deception is that without someone making your aware of it, you remain unaware of it.

James 1:17 writes that God only gives "good" gifts and that we are not to remain deceived and blame evil actions upon God, but place the blame solely where it belongs, ourselves (and I would add the influence of Satan on these decisions). It makes sense that God would want to blind believers in how absolutely good God is as it is best expressed in the broad scope that the redemption of Christ covers. He also adds that there is only one way to make sure we do not remain deceived and that is to not merely listen to Word but those who create justice (i.e. doers of the word) v.22. I wonder if James is immediately thinking about the phrase he mentions in verse 18, the "word of truth" through whom we were born and transformed into a kind of first fruits of God's creatures. We to be those who not merely listen to the Word (i.e. Jesus/God as He is best understood within the testimony of Scripture) but imitators of Him.

That said, it would do well for us as believers to meditate upon what other phrases and actions within our lives don't line up to an accurate accounting of God and through prayer and practice confront the deception with Truth.
May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason Weigand

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