Proverbs 16:4

The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.

This proverb is for us to turn to when the wicked commit violence. Such events cause us to ask, “Where was God?” “Why did this happen?” “Is God in control?” “Will the wicked get away with this?” This proverb says that the wicked get away with nothing. It says that even their actions are under the control of God and serve the purpose or purposes for which he, not the wicked, intend.

Such a teaching might seem discomforting. How could God be involved in violence against the innocent? Consider the terrorist attack of 9/11 or the Boston marathon bombing. Religious leaders are quick to disavow Gods involvement and cast him as a sympathetic onlooker. It is true that God is not the author of evil as James 1:13 teaches. But if God is merely a compassionate God who wishes bad things didnt happen, if God was watching the airplanes heading into the buildings simply wishing they would miss or that the bombs might malfunction, consider then the greater discomforting thought we are on our own.

It is grievous to have loved ones die “before their time.” But more grievous would be to think they died beyond God’s timing. The one comforting thought in the midst of such tragedies is that their deaths fit into Gods plans, that he is working all things out, including, especially including, all the bad, rotten stuff that goes on. He is working all things out for the purpose which he intended. The wicked are getting away with nothing. Whether they are acting in conscious defiance of God; whether they foolishly think they are pleasing God; whatever the case, they can do nothing but what he permits and what will serve his purpose.

That should give us comfort, because the most despairing thought of all is not that good people suffer and die, but that they suffer and die for no reason; that ultimately there is no reason for why anything happens, good or bad; that in time no one is remembered; nothing serves any purpose. Keep in mind, that whatever happens – and we have no guarantee what may happen – keep in mind that the Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

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