Back in May I was musing on the nature of identity, sin and judgment and how we lack understanding of the latter because we do not fully perceive the former, wrapped up as it is in many more layers than simply the individual:
So often when calamity hits a country, some folks will say ‘this was the judgment of God’. Now, that may or may not be true, but the reply often critiques the seemingly random nature of the casualties – utilising the ‘this person was good so why did it happen to them?’ argument. We often cannot wrap our minds around this. However, once you understand identity and sin as multi-layered, then judgments that impact a country (say), start to be seen in a different light.
There’s another angle to this as well, again related to our identity:
…This explains why Paul says we were powerless. We were powerless not because humanity really wanted peace with God but we were held in bondage by Satan and sin against our will. No we were powerless because our wills, our desires, our hearts are naturally turned against God. We are held in bondage not against our will but by our will. Our hearts are the problem. Notice the quotation marks that run throughout this text [Romans 3:10-18]. Paul is not making this stuff up. He’s stringing together quotes from the Psalms and prophets of the Old Testament. This is God’s verdict regarding humanity: our hearts are hardened against him, we are bent on destroying him, each other, and the world he’s made.
God could then, without a hint of injustice, act in accordance with this verdict. When you read of God acting in judgment against a nation or an individual the thought should not be, how can God do this to these innocent people, but why hasn’t God judged everyone. Why haven’t we all shared the fate of the Canaanites, Hittites, and Jebusites?
And there is, again, a very clear answer. “While we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” …