The horror in Manchester is a chilling reminder of the evil in our world. It is hard to imagine how someone could strap explosives on their body, walk into a crowd full of preteen girls, and detonate a bomb. ISIS has, as expected, taken credit for the bombing calling the bomber a “soldier of caliphate”. World leaders cry out for justice and the defeat of radical Islam while families in England struggle to imagine a world without their child and cry out to God “Why?”. Why do bad things happen to good people? Many wonder, if there is a God, why doesn’t he care?
The Manchester bombing is just another of a long line of tragedies that leave people wondering about purpose in this crazy world. I believe there are some Biblical truths that can help us as we sort through these evils and strive to make sense of a world in chaos.
First, we must remember we live in a fallen world (Genesis 3). Man chose self over God and God cursed this world because of sin (Romans 6:23). Jesus came and paid for our sin and gives victory over death. However, he has yet to come back and take his place as ruler over this world. He tarries, not to allow sin free reign, but to give opportunity of salvation to all who will receive him (2 Peter 3:9-10). Evil is man’s fault, not God’s.
Second, our enemy seeks to destroy us. The destruction Satan seeks is not a flat tire on a rainy day. He seeks to destroy our lives. He walks around this earth seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). He delights in the death of the innocent. Horror such as this is the result of the schemes of our adversary (Ephesians 6:11).
Third, our battle is not against flesh and blood. Our battle is against the spiritual forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). We, as Christians, do not battle Muslims, ISIS, or any single person. Our battle is against the spiritual forces that are out to destroy man. The man who blew himself up along with those innocent children is not the enemy. He is a man who was looking for answers in the world and thought he found them in allegiance to Mohamad. Too bad he had not found “The Way” through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Only because of God’s grace do we not find ourselves capable of such horror (Romans 6:14, 2 Corinthians 12:9).
Lastly, peace is coming. Events like Manchester, 9-11, and the OKC Bombing cause us to long for that day (2 Timothy 4:8). There is a day when Christ will return in all power. He will take his place as ruler. Death will be finally swallowed up in victory. The curse of sin will end on this world. The enemy will be placed in chains. And there will be no more tears, sickness, death nor horror (1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 14:13).
As we hurt with our brothers and sisters in Manchester, let me encourage you with the words of the Apostle Paul. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)