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Acts of God

Why does God get blamed for all the bad things and ignored when good happens? We should consider the true acts of God and learn to act like God.

One of the few good things coming out of the coronavirus outbreak is that God can’t be blamed for it! Don’t you think He gets weary when, every time something bad happens, humans irrationally proclaim it “an act of God”?

This coronavirus outbreak, however, is clearly an “act of man”—exotic meat marketing is apparently what allowed this animal-borne virus to jump to humans. Thus far God seems to have escaped His usual position as the scapegoat!

A few years ago, following Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation of the Philippines, someone commented, “Another ‘act of God’—as usual mankind will have to clean up and suffer for God’s doings.”

Wow! How would you feel getting blamed whenever natural disasters occur? Yet every time a tornado, hurricane, cyclone, famine or earthquake hits, we hear about “acts of God.”

“Act of God” is used in court too. The term describes an event caused by an unanticipated grave natural disaster, one impossible to expect or prevent under normal conditions. It is a common legal defense against liability for death and injury. Many disaster victims, already in shock, are further devastated when they discover their insurance does not cover “act of God” losses.

Acts of the devil

But why do we call such tragedies “acts of God”? Especially when nothing indicates God was involved at all?

When something wonderful happens, do we ever call that an act of God? If a cancer cure was announced tomorrow, would newscasters be talking about it being an “act of God”? Not likely! No, when great things happen, we tend to attribute it to luck or our own ingenuity, but seldom give God the credit.

The phrase act of God is not bad of itself—God does act!—but it should be framed in the context of truth. The truth, Jesus said, is that there are also acts of the devil and acts of man. The Bible is, in fact, a running commentary on the acts of the devil, of man (often influenced by the devil) and of God.

In a tense public debate with the Pharisees recorded in John 8:44, Jesus identified Satan’s nature and actions as the real source of humanity’s suffering. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do,” He said. “He was a murderer from the beginning. … He is a liar and the father of it.”

Satan acts, and humanity mirrors his lustful, lying and murderous actions. And one of his greatest deceptions has been to get us to shift the blame to God.

Act like God!

In Discern we want to lift your eyes to see the truth of God’s amazing acts, past, present and future. The good news is that someday the phrase acts of God will be seen in its true light. When people consider the acts of God, they’ll remember God giving His only begotten Son for the life of the world. They’ll think about how Christ returned, as promised, and saved humanity from the worst acts of man and from Satan’s wrath.

One article in this issue, about the Day of Pentecost, explains a past day when God miraculously opened the spiritual understanding of a group of people, showed them how to turn from their acts of sin, gave them His Holy Spirit and established His Church.

Another article, “Ambassadors of Christ,” makes us consider the present day, and how we are to represent God in a world that is quickly losing its way socially, morally, spiritually.

In a world blinded by Satan’s deceit, may we not only learn about the true acts of God, but learn to act like God!

Clyde Kilough


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Discern Article Series

Christ Versus Christianity
Walk as He Walked
Christianity in Progress
Wonders of God's Creation