Ecc 9.11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
Second, we should not be surprised.
We live in an age ruled by darkness, evil and fear. Every day, people around the world die by violent acts. In 2013, nearly double the number of Christians deaths were reported (over 2,100 reported) than the year before for their faith. Experts believe this number to represent only a fraction of the number actually slain for their faith. Last year, in Syria, over 76,000 died in the war, most of them civilians. Lest we think we are safe in the United States, murders in our country tallied over 15,000. And, more staggering than all of this combined, we kill over one million unborn babies, many in the name of convenience, though ‘surgical removal.’
While the coverage of France dominates our headlines, I often wonder why we hear so little about these other deaths caused by murder. I can only imagine that it would not sell many newspapers or draw viewers in. Yet, every day, even all around us right here in the United States, people kill people.
Regardless, we live in dark times. While we think of other periods of history as dark (heck, we even call one of the largest periods of time, “The Dark Ages”), we have plenty of darkness right here, today, and all around us. While our modern, clean cities, and light hearted comedy television work to paint a picture that man heads towards a brighter tomorrow, these acts of brutal evil remind us that the heart of man remains incredibly wicked.
We work together, as a society, to attempt to eliminate, or, at least minimize the impact evil has on our day to day lives. I, personally, remain very thankful that the government, by God’s Grace, does restrain evil, to a degree. Yet, as we see through these (and other) violent acts, the hearts of men continue to beat with evil intentions. The darkness reigns. We can lock them up, take steps to protect ourselves and more, but, at best, we address a few of the symptoms, leaving the disease uncured.
Yet, God did not leave us without an answer. Jesus died on the cross not only to save us from the penalty of our sins, but from their hold on our life, as well. Though Him, we can experience not only salvation, but sanctification. He can, and will, give us a new heart, that beats with love for Him and our fellow man, if we lay down our lives and follow Him. This can melt the hardest of hearts, including a cold blooded murderer like Jeffrey Dahmer. Ultimately, God provides the only true solution for the problem of sin, and the fear it inflicts of those who suffer by its hand.