Why Innocent Children Die

Grace and Peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

First off I would like to say, today, two people love you folks listening (reading) out there. The first one counts and the second one does not. The first one is God, who loves you in Jesus Christ, and that counts. The second is me , I love you all today, and that counts to me.

IToday I will try to answer the question, "Why do innocent children die?

Now to our question, let us pray first. Lord, cleanse our hearts and minds, that your word might find a fit place to dwell. Amen.

"Why do innocent children have to die?"

Recently, in an interview on television, I heard Bill Cosby talk about the death of his son. In the interview, they asked him how others have tried to console him. One comment he made seemed to stick. He said, "some have come to me and said it was God's will. My answer to them is that I choose not to consider God carrying out his will with a bullet to my son's head."

I agree with Bill Cosby. I would not choose to understand God's will be that way either.

Let's turn to the Bible for our help. Just to give you a little background of our scripture this morning, we are reading about the events that surrounded the birth of Jesus. It is the Christmas story you do not hear at Christmas. The three wise men have been asked by the King at that time to find the Christ child, and report back his whereabouts. The King's plan was to go and kill the infant king, and keep the family throne. Well, the three wise men were warned in a dream to return home secretly, without reporting to King Herod. Now, let's go to the Bible:

(Matthew 2:16-18 NRSV) When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. {17} Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: {18} "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more."

Recently, I was asked to assist in a prayer and healing service for a 5-year-old little girl, dying of cancer. About five days after our service and continuous prayer for, we'll call her little Sarah, the doctors reported that the cancer had disappeared. We all celebrated God's glory in healing little Sarah. Seven days later, her lungs failed and she died.

The question we all asked ourselves, was why did God let little Sarah die, even after her miraculous healing?

The same question could of been asked of the Bible, why did so many innocent children have to die in Bethlehem for Jesus to be born. It becomes clear from our reading, that God knew about it, because it was to fulfill what God said 600 some years ago through the prophet Jeremiah. Yet, the hundreds of mothers were like Rachel weeping inconsolably "because they are not more."

"Why God?, Why?, is our cry."

The first step in answering the question "why" is to examine the question we ask--"Why?" Are we really searching for wisdom into the intricacies of God's will and plan? Are we really seeking knowledge of God's will or the nature of the universe? And, if we received such an answer from God to our supposed inquiring why,

a) Could we even understand it?

b) Would we be satisfied and carry on, business as usual?

c) Would we be like the Bible says, like "Rachel weeping inconsolably because they are no more?" Only now, with the divine answer, we are even more confused!

In the book of Job, in the Bible, Job asks the question why he has had to suffer the loss of his family, children, and health. God does answer, but Job cannot bear the answer. He is too small and God is too big! God speaks to him out of the whirlwind, (Job 40:1-5 NRSV) And the LORD said to Job: {2} "Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Anyone who argues with God must respond." {3} Then Job answered the LORD: {4} "See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. {5} I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but will proceed no further."

Again in (Job 42:2-3 NRSV) talking to God, "I know that you can do all things, and that they can thwart no purpose of yours . . . Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."

The Bible tells us that we could not understand the answer, even if we received it!

Add to that, even if we could understand it, it would not help in our grief because they [those we lost] are no more.

The answer to the question why would do nothing to take away the sorrow and pain from the loss of our children. Our cry why, is not to increase our divine knowledge but to take away the pain of our grief. In reality we are not asking why after all. We are just using the word to cry out, "God take away the pain of my grief." "God it hurts so much to lose this child I loved so much." "God I hurt!" "Help me in my grief."

It is at this point that God offers us the answer to our true cry. We stand at a turning point. Jesus Christ invites us to . . . (Matthew 11:28-30 NRSV) "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

God's loving hand in Jesus Christ is saying "Come to me" and I will answer your true question, how can the pain go away.

Jesus said, (Matthew 5:4 NRSV) "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

If you turn to me [Jesus] in your pain and bitterness I will send my Holy Spirit, the comforter to console you and help you understand that I love you, and I know your pain. You are not alone and I will bless you in your pain and grief with a deeper understanding and experience of my divine love.

Brothers and Sister, it is at this point that we have to make a decision! Do I turn to the love of God in Jesus Christ in my grief or to the bitterness of a cruel world that has little meaning in life except more pain and loss? If you choose the bitterness of the world, your question "why" will never be answered, and your grief will always remain in some form or another -- bitterness, anger, depression, you'll remain lost, and without hope.

If you turn to Jesus and offer him your true cry of pain, you will hear the voice of God's spirit speaking to your spirit, "I had a child too. He too was innocent. There was no sin in him. His name was Jesus and he died a terrible death at the hands of evil men. I even knew about it long before it happened. Yet, I allowed it to happen. Yes, I even caused it to happen because I love you so much, that I would lose my innocent child too, so that I could answer your cries and prayers to make it stop hurting."

He is alive today, and he is calling you to come to Him in your sorrow and grief and He will give you rest for your soul. You will even be blessed by his comfort. Jesus keeps his promises, and he promised, "blessed are those who mourn for they shall find comfort."

You see brothers and sisters, God does answer our question, "why do children have to die?" if we understand the true nature of our cry. He does take away our sorrow and tears and heals our broken heart. He does it because he loves us, and he lost his innocent child too. He knew about it ahead of time and did it anyway, for us.

Just like innocent children of Bethlehem, God told us 700 some years ago, his son would die for us and heal our broken hearts.

(Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV) Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. {5} But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Brothers and Sisters, do you have a broken heart? Are you asking the question why, when you are really crying out in pain?

The answer to your question and cry is Jesus Christ. Do you know him now? Did you know him once? Come to him now . . . and be healed!

Then the innocent child, who died, will not have died in vain. Because you turned to Jesus Christ as your healer and savior in your grief, they healed you, and you have come to know the love of God in a much deeper way. Like Jesus, another innocent child died, that you might find the love and healing of a Savior.

Pray this prayer with me.

Lord, forgive us for crying against you in our pain, hear our true cry and come into our hearts to save us, and heal us. Come in Lord Jesus!

Thank you, God, for our healing, and for the gift of eternal life. Amen.

If you prayed with me in all sincerity, then you will be able to say with the great Apostle Paul:

(Romans 5:1-5 NIV) Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, {2} through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. {3} Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; {4} perseverance, character; and character, hope. {5} And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Glory to God. Amen.

God Bless you, God loves you, and I love you, but it's God that counts!

Would you like to know Jesus Christ as your savior and receive eternal life?

I want to know Jesus Christ as my Savior!

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