Why? This question has crossed our minds and we’ve prayed over potential reasons, but we are not aware of a clear and specific answer. We may not ever know the reason for Isaac’s relatively short life this side of heaven. We know that God allowed Isaac to have ten good years. Isaac showed us how to laugh and be enthusiastic about life (his name fit him so well) and also showed love, affection and compassion for those who were smaller or weaker (he was such a loving big brother). We learned a lot about ourselves from raising Isaac and may share those lessons in a future post. Even without knowing any specific reason, we are seeking to glorify God through all of this.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (Joh 9:1-3)
Is God in control? We believe that God is always in control. Yet, He allows tragedy to strike for reasons we don’t understand. One historical example is recorded for us in the book of Job. We know from the beginning of the book why tragedy struck Job, however there is no indication that Job was aware of the heavenly interaction between the LORD and the accuser. Job’s friends failed to provide a sufficient explanation. In the end, God did not explain “why” to Job but rather declared “who” He is. My understanding is that God wants us to draw close to and know Him even more through our tragedies.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:8-10)
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. (Psa 119:71)
There are promises in the Bible about God’s protection for the righteous. However, there are also recorded occurrences of the righteous suffering through trials and persecution, even to the point of death. I consider God’s protection over our eternal souls. If you are His child by faith, then you can trust Him with your soul and not fear what man (or any other power) can do to your body. Who knows how many times God has protected us from some unseen evil or potential accident? He also has said that we will only see the judgment of the wicked with our eyes:
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. (Psa 91:7-8) (Note that according to this verse when the wicked are judged it appears to be in a general, widespread manner.)
Do I believe that Isaac is in heaven? Yes, because he was a child and also because he believed in Jesus Christ. Based on his age and understanding, I don’t believe that he was at a state (not age) of accountability for himself. Yes, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right” (Pro 20:11), but do you believe he was capable of standing before Almighty God to give an account for his life? Even if he was, he believed in Jesus Christ with the understanding that a ten-year old boy can have. He knew that Jesus died on the cross for his sins. Did he understand what it meant to be justified or sanctified? We were teaching him those concepts on his level; however, what doctrine do you need to understand to be saved, other than faith in Jesus Christ? “He that believeth on him is not condemned…” (John 3:18a).
Did God allow this accident to happen? Yes, but I don’t believe that he caused it to happen. Does God have a purpose in this? Absolutely, especially according to Romans 8:28-29. God is working this for His glory and for the good of those who love Him and are His. His desire is that we would conform more and more into the image of His Son. He will utilize any means that He determines will best accomplish this goal. We believe that He will ultimately be glorified through all of this, if we continue to honor and seek Him. We are seeing people (including us) reevaluate their lives and read the Bible and pray more. We are thankful for this fruit. I am reminded of what Joseph said to his brothers:
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Gen 50:20)
Some may say that we are holding onto God as a crutch or that we are guided by some vague concept of a god but not by the true and living God. First of all, the Bible is His Word and no matter how much man and Satan have tried to destroy it, it is still standing! Secondly, there was a man claiming to be one with the Father (see John 10:30) who walked this earth, died a horrendous death on a cross and rose again from the dead after three days. The events and words of his life are recorded for us primarily in the Bible and also in other historical resources. He said some very offensive and divisive words. What do you do with him? You can’t be indecisive because your eternal soul is at risk. Just take a look at what he said – he was either speaking the truth or he was perhaps severely deranged or deceitful. I recommend that you start with the Gospel According to John. Lastly, I submit to you as evidence lives that are changed dramatically by faith. I am one of those specimens. If you knew my past and don’t believe in God or His power to change lives, you probably wouldn’t consider me one bit credible. Well, I am not credible by my own credentials. It is only “by the grace of God I am what I am” (1Co 15:10). Oh, I still sin and it grieves my heart that I bring dishonor to my Lord, but I am not the man who I once was.
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (1Jn 5:7-8)
These are some of the questions that we have wrestled with. What are your questions? We hope that you find the right answers.
Struggling, but still trusting and seeking,
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
(Ecc 7:1-4, 13-14)