What would possess a man to burn to death his estranged wife and three young children. A handful of people on social media commented that he was pushed to do it by a system which favours mothers over fathers when it comes to custodial rights. One person declared that he was now at peace because his children could never be taken away. The abhorrence of such comments ranks second only to the act itself. There is no justifiable reason to do something like that. It is hard to get your head around what it must have been like for his family when he set fire to them. Perhaps it pays not to think about it.
Thankfully God restrains sinfulness in this world. Imagine what life would be like if every disgruntled person behaved in this fashion. Nevertheless, what happened raises many questions – why this woman and her children; why do the innocent get caught up in the madness of others; why does God restrain some people but not all people? We don’t have answers to such questions. There is a mystery to God’s providence. The apostle Paul speaks of both the goodness and the severity of the Lord (Rom 11:22).
We can at least say this much:
* Sometimes there are horrific examples of where sin can take someone. Within the sovereign purposes of God, everyone is responsible for what they do and don’t do. God doesn’t cause people to sin. This man allowed himself to be swallowed up with hatred and chose to commit murder. He will reap the justice he deserves.
* The world is a mess without God. As disdain for the Bible has intensified over the last couple of generations, it is little wonder that society is breaking down. Obviously and thankfully this was an isolated incident, yet it is symptomatic of widespread moral decay. People don’t have a spiritual foundation upon which they can build their lives; immorality, divorce, indulgence, drug use, gambling, disrespect, materialism, etc. are standard fare. When people live like this, tragic outcomes will occur.
* The Gospel is desperately needed and prayer is desperately needed. It is not only those ‘on the edge’ who need to be saved but also people who are respectable and law abiding. Everyone needs to be reconciled to God. Let us be earnest in prayer for our unconverted family and friends; our colleagues; the nation and the government. Let us not miss the chance to share the good news of Jesus Christ when we have opportunity to do so; let us seek opportunities.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus