Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:4-5)
We have had another, much larger tragedy in Las Vegas. Much discussion has focused on the “why” of this mindless carnage. So far, 59 dead and at least 500 wounded. Some talk went back to the shooting of 100 people at the Orlando gay night club, June 16, 2016. In both cases it was cowardly.
Where was God when these two events took place? We do know that God either causes or permits everything that happens on earth, good and bad. Sometimes we wonder what God thinks about bad things and sometimes if He brought it on. It is a subject that threads through Scripture.
The disciples encountered a man who had been blind from 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. (John 9:2-3)
The disciples voiced a common belief of the day that babies could sin in the womb and bring calamity upon themselves. But, this man was born blind in order that he might be healed by the hands of Jesus and help to establish Jesus’ identity as the Son of God.
There was a strong belief among Jews that great calamities were a sure sign of great sin among the victims of disaster. After all, Jewish literature and custom informed the Jewish people of Noah’s flood and of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Jews also knew that they did not get their land until the “wickedness of the Amorites was full” and God destroyed them in order to give the land to Abraham’s seed. (Gen. 15:16)
Jesus brought up the subject of the Tower in Siloam. Apparently, it was a recent calamity that everyone knew about and had thoroughly discussed among themselves. Siloam had to do with water. There was the pool of Siloam and there was also the system that brought water to the pool. The reason for a tower in connection with a water supply is interesting. A tower foundation has been found that is circular in shape and about 18 feet across. Some scholars believe it to be the foundation of a second tower that replaced another tower that fell.
Whether the tower was for posting guards or if it was functional in supporting a water conduit is not known for sure. Husband and wife writers of Bible fiction books, Thoene (Toe-nay) who do a lot of research about Israel, write of the tower as being part of a water system coming into Jerusalem. This part of the system was above ground and thus the need for the tower to support the weight. It was being constructed and was not stable when it fell. Workers were all around it, so it killed 18 of the workers.
Josephus, the Jewish historian mentions Siloam several times regarding a water supply coming into Jerusalem.
Jesus commented on the tower incident: Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:4-55)
If we want to know about the meaning of terrible tragedies at Las Vegas or Orlando, we have to read the Bible carefully and be careful about joining loud voices that want to nail this down as God’s special judgment. There is no proof of that.
Tornados have killed more people praying in churches than the Las Vegas or Orlando incidents. We have had loss of life and property from hurricanes in the last 30 days. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1Pe 4:17-18)
God loves all kinds of sinners. He loves them enough that if they will repent of their sins and receive Christ as their Savior and Lord, He will gladly receive them as His own. We have a list of lost people that we pray for often by name because we believe they need the Lord.
This is the day of shacking up, same-sex cohabitation and a general ignoring of God’s order of living. From these lifestyles of disobedience comes a torrent of sorrow and instability heaped upon themselves and upon their children. One huge outcome of “me first” living is the 60 million babies that have been murdered in their mothers’ wombs.
I’ve spent a lifetime of counseling with troubled people who have wrecked their lives and some, at last, would like some relief and would like to fix things as best as they can. We serve a big God who has promised: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
The problem has always been getting people lost enough to get saved. If a man ever realizes he is a sinner, he will have no trouble beating his breast and crying out: “God, be merciful to me a sinner!!”
Whatever you have done, if you are still breathing, God can fix you. He loves you and paid for your sins on the cross of His only begotten Son and you can be saved. Call upon Him today, regardless of what kind of sinner you are.
Don’t let the devil deceive you. You don’t owe him anything. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) And, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
October 9, 2017 - MONDAY
A.M. Isaiah 41-42 P.M. Col. 1
(BIBLE GATEWAY will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verses to Memorize:
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (confess). (Isaiah 45:22-23)
Song for Today:
Are You Washed in the Blood? (3:14) (Acapella Choir)
(Wait a few seconds for it to come on.)
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father…