Why Gosnell, God? Why Boston?

Why Gosnell, God? Why Boston?

Not long ago, we learned that Kermit Gosnell had been killing babies in the third trimester and even after they were delivered, for decades. Just this week, we watched as bombs ripped through an unsuspecting crowd in downtown Boston. They’re not the same, but they are horrifying and mouth-stopping evils.

It’s enough to make us cry out to God, “Arise, O Lᴏʀᴅ; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted. Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, ‘You will not call to account’?” (Psalm 10:12–13). Why God? Why allow Gosnell to gruesomely murder these innocents? Why allow the explosions to maim so many innocents, and even kill three? You are God, right? You won’t let them get away with this wickedness, will you?

The Safest Place in Boston

The Psalm goes on, “But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none” (Psalm 10:14–15).

Until you find none, Lord. You have seen the corruption, the crimes against these people, men, women, and children whom you formed in your image. We have seen pictures, but you saw the acts, every pulse of wickedness in Gosnell’s heart and every inch of the bomber’s plan. Hunt it down and erase it, Lord. All of it. Show the world that you really are in control and that what is right will eventually and decisively win.

You watched and waited, “that you may take it into your hands.” You were not absent or unaware, and you will not abandon justice. No one — not Kermit Gosnell, not the nameless Boston bomber — no one can defy you and not be destroyed. And somehow mysteriously, all according to your sovereign wisdom and plan, their destruction will reveal who you are — that you are really, really good.

You are the only safe place for the suffering. You are the helper of the fatherless, children dashed to pieces on the bloodstained table of terror at the Women’s Society in West Philadelphia. You are the helper of the helpless marathon watchers wounded without cause or reason. You are the helper of people all over the globe helpless to understand or explain these massacres. We can’t explain this now, and we’ll never be able to change it, but you, our God, are a God who demands justice and executes it perfectly. You are a safe place for all the sorrowful, confused, and slain, whoever will trust you, even while we can’t see you in the midst of these scary scenes.

You Put Terror Out of Business

“The Lᴏʀᴅ is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. O Lᴏʀᴅ, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”

Lord, our hearts are weak with grief, despair, and anger. Now, and with every atrocity, we will ask a thousand questions and wonder how you could possibly be at work in these evils. Strengthen our hearts according to your promises. Give us patience to wait upon your final act of justice, when everything will be made right. In that day, we will watch as you make terror the victim, a story never to appear on another front page.

At the darkest moments of our lives, we can have strength and hope in you because at the darkest moment in history you guaranteed the end of the violence and perversion that fills our news now. As we ask how you could allow nails to take an 8-year-old boy’s life, remind us that you looked on in infinite love for us as nails pierced your precious Son. It was at his cross that you defeated the devil’s hold on this world, ransoming your children from our own wickedness and promising the eradication of all evil. All injustice will be punished, either in Jesus’s wounds or by his sword.

You walked with your Son to Calvary’s hill. You stood beside the bloody table in West Philadelphia. You watched the fatal finish line in Boston. And your love and justice will prevail in every place.

You will destroy every evil until there is none — none in us and none in this world.


More from Desiring God:

Marshall Segal (@MarshallSegal) is executive assistant to John Piper, a graduate of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, and regularly writes on the topics of singleness and dating.