We are told in Lamentations 3:22 that “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because His compassions fail not.” I’m always amused at the rhetorical challenge of unbelievers to explain why, if God is so loving, that bad things happen to good people. This statement is wrong on two levels. First, there is the assumption that the people facing these hypothetical tragedies were good people. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:10 that “there is no one righteous, no not even one.” People that assume there are good people around them are naïve, gullibly accepting as fact the facades that most put up to cover their true inner selves. Or they assume without evidence based on the foolish humanist notion that we are all inherently good inside. When left to our own devices, though, without active training and without connection to God, we tend to devolve to our very worst possible behavior. In William Golding’s famous novel Lord of the Flies, the fictional characters, a group of boys stranded on a deserted island without adult supervision, devolve into a vicious, amoral pack. This is the story of dystopia, of how we can become savages when taken outside of civilizing influences. This tendency, however, is not just fictional. The infamous story of the Donner Party shocked 19th century America as this group, trapped and isolated in the mountains during winter, resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.
So, the very suggestion that we are good is false at its root. When we look at the second fallacy of the rhetorical question about bad events, if we are not good, then we cannot assume that we deserve good things. This is very simple moral reasoning which will find affirmation in our consciences and hearts. Good begets good, bad begets bad. Those that are good deserve good things, and those that are bad, earn bad things. If the human heart is desperately wicked as the Bible tells us (Jer. 17:9), and if absolutely no one is good as noted above, then none of us deserve good things in life. Not only do we not deserve good things in life, but despite our prideful assumptions, the normal, usual default of life is to receive bad things. The world is sin-cursed from the Garden of Eden as we remember from Genesis. From Genesis 3:17, the very ground was cursed such that Adam, representing humankind, would always be forced to work for his bread through difficult struggles. This curse on the ground can be interpreted to be a curse on all of the universe. It can be seen in the very laws of nature such the known laws of thermodynamics. The principle of entropy tells us that all energy lapses to its lowest state. It does not rev up, wind up, or charge up on its own. In any given situation, without intervention, energy will ALWAYS revert to a negative, less-active state. And since we have discovered through Einstein’s theories that energy and matter are interchangeable, then this principle equally applies to matter. Matter simply does not move to higher states of order or improvement without external intervention. You know this if you have ever owned anything. Our houses need painting and repairs over time. Our automobiles require repair. Everything decays.