How can we begin to understand an event like the Boston bombings?
[Darris McNeely] Last week in Boston at the conclusion of the Boston Marathon two men walked onto a busy street near the end of the marathon race and in the time that it took for them to set down two backpacks filled with explosives, the lives of many people were changed forever. Three people died on the scene. Dozens were maimed and wounded. Later on in the manhunt that took place, a police officer was killed, another seriously wounded. One of the gunman terrorists was killed, and the other one was finally captured at the end of a very, very long day. What happened and why? All of these questions continue to go through the minds of people. One headline from a newspaper said that "Brothers Flight from War Ends in Stark Violence on US Streets." And everyone has been trying to piece all of this together in the aftermath of the Boston bombings. We know that they were two young men from Chechnya. What happened in Chechnya goes back hundreds of years.
And eventually a family moved to Boston, disintegrated. Part of the family moved back to Chechnya, left behind children, and two of them turned out to be bombers. And again the lives of people were altered forever. Why and how does this take place? Those answers are not easy to come by, but they're also questions that are asked and have been asked for a long period of time. In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon addressed this in something that I've been thinking about as I've sorted through the news accounts of this recent tragedy. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 9:11-12, he said that, "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill, but time and chance happens to them all. For man also does not know his time like fish taken in a cruel net and like birds caught in a snare so the sons of men are snared in an evil time when it falls suddenly upon them."
Time and chance. Circumstances happen to people, and they are caught like birds in a snare or fish in a net, unaware, beyond their control. Because a nation in a far off land is riddled for generations with strife and rebellion and war, and people become refugees and they immigrate, and it doesn't work out, and people become radicalized by ideologies and various ideas. And then innocent people suffer. Solomon confronted this, and he didn't leave the question without a bit of hope. At the end of the book of Ecclesiastes he says, "Fear God and keep His commandments for this is man's all." He said this as the conclusion of the matter. We don't have all the answers to even what happened last week in Boston nor any other tragedy like that wherever it may have occurred in our modern time or in any other part of the world, but we still ask the questions. And the answers are here. The answers are far beyond this at times, but ultimately the answer is in the word of God when it says and teaches us to fear God and to keep His commandments. Do that. Anchor your life in that and you can begin to work yourself to some answers and to some stability in a time of fear and upset such as what we are living through right now in our world.
That's Beyond Today. Join us next time.