Sometimes I understand why people don’t like to read the Old Testament prophets. They have an internal image of God as a kind of Grandfather in the sky. It is very comforting to them. And then they read a prophet like Jeremiah, and they come up against a God who is rather unlike the God they imagine.
But it occurs to me that believing in the God of your imagination could be risky business. The God of the Bible does not make impossible demands, but he does make demands. The God of the Bible is gentle, comforting, kind, protective—but he isn’t that way to everyone, all the time.
Let me put it to you this way. God has created the best of all possible worlds. He has placed man in this world and given man the liberty to do what he chooses to do. The problem is that some men choose to do evil to other men, and that is the simple answer to a very difficult question about God’s world. Bad things happen to good people because bad men make bad choices. So where does God enter the picture?