Tragedy. Most of us have experienced it and those of us who have not, will. We live in a fallen world, a post-Genesis 3 world, and bad things happen. Accidents happen. People leave this earth suddenly, and often far too soon. Jobs suddenly move to another country, leaving scores of unemployed moms and dads. Marriages are rocked because someone “fell out of love,” or because a partner fell in love with another person. Children and grandchildren's “experimental phase” leads to a life of addiction, and maybe even prison. A routine doctor’s visit becomes not so routine with one scan. Yes, this is the fallen world that you and I live in, characterized by words such as: divorce, addiction, adultery, unemployed, accident, terrorism, cancer, shooting, racism, under the influence, suicide, and an almost unlimited list of many more. We all recognize phrases like; “never forget,” “black lives matter,” “me too,” and “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” In fact, our lives are so filled with tragedy that we have largely become numb to it. How many times do we see a headline announcing another tragic occurrence, only to scroll on to the next headline?
Tragedy is part of living in our sinful world, and it is unavoidable. The question that you and I need to deal with today is how do we handle tragedy? The Scriptures are filled with people who dealt with tragedy. Think about the tragedy of a global flood. Imagine explaining that headline to your children. Or imagine living in the first century of Christianity, and getting the news that a brother or sister has been persecuted and martyred. Or David. Think about David showing up at Ziklag in 1 Samuel 30 to find that his wives, and the wives and children of his soldiers, had all been taken captive. Can you imagine the emotions running through his mind? I can’t. The Bible says these men “wept until they had no more strength to weep (v4).” Such tragedy.