What positive could we possibly glean from the Vegas shooting?! The most disturbing question on everyone’s mind is: How could a seemingly average man do such a thing? For all the theorizing, he wasn’t that different from any of us. The comfort is in knowing that God has always known. It’s at the core of His message to us. There is an answer that is simple, but it is far from simplistic. It is the foundational reason of why this happened, and how to guard against such darkness. It deals with really understanding the nature of sin in all of us; how it really works. I’ve never read a better explanation than this devotional from Oswald Chambers which you can access from our church website’s DEVOTIONAL PAGE. Chambers’ article (Thursday) wasn’t written as a response to some recent shooting. It was written in 1935 before people ever conceived of such things. In summary, he writes:
The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of self-realization which leads us to say, “I am my own god.” This nature may exhibit itself in proper morality or in improper immorality, but it always has a common basis— my claim to my right to myself. When our Lord faced either people with all the forces of evil in them, or people who were clean-living, moral, and upright, He paid no attention to the moral degradation of one, nor any attention to the moral attainment of the other. He looked at something we do not see, namely, the nature of man. …
God nowhere holds a person responsible for having the heredity of sin, and does not condemn anyone because of it. Condemnation comes when I realize that Jesus Christ came to deliver me from this heredity of sin, and yet I refuse to let Him do so.
Romans 6:23 makes the simple statement that “the wages of sin is death”, but death comes in many contexts and forms. In how many ways did this “average man” die before raining death on so many others? In how many steps and choices did he refuse to be rescued from our inherited sin nature, but instead he walked further into it? There is nothing good about a senseless mass killing, but the good news is; God has the answer for it- why it really happened, and how to guard against such darkness. The depth of the answer is beyond the scope of a little email, but those alive in Christ can know this: We can grow in the answer, for the answer is not a psychological profile, social program, or law; it is a Person. It always has been.
“Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I AM!'” John 8:58 NET