Insight on the News
Despite promises by campaigning politicians to provide better legislation on crime in the United States, the ABA (American Bar Association) recently admitted that crime is out of control and that the criminal justice system simply cannot contain it. The ABA estimated that 34 million crimes were committed in 1986, yet federal studies reveal that “only a few hundred thousand resulted in prison terms,” reports The New York Times. In addition, the ABA claims that the majority of crimes go unreported to the police. In spite of this, prisons are bursting at the seams, and criminal cases are flooding the courts. The study conceded that “there is no realistic hope that more prosecution and imprisonment can ever contain crime,” states the Times.
While a frustrated public may find this admission shocking, informed Bible students do not. Centuries ago the apostle Paul foretold that in “the last days” of this present system, “wicked men . . . will advance from bad to worse.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13) However, what man is incapable of doing, God can do. He promises that the wicked “will be cut off from the very earth.”—Proverbs 2:22.
When Pan American World Airways flight 103 exploded in the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland, last December, all 258 passengers were killed. Eleven citizens of Lockerbie also died when portions of the wreckage crashed into a number of residences. Loved ones lost in the shocking air disaster were mourned by relatives and friends alike. Is God responsible for this tragedy?
One Catholic bishop in Scotland seems to think so. According to The New York Times, he said in his sermon at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church: “Father, if You are the God of love, why did You let this happen? Why did You allow the destruction of hundreds of innocent lives? . . . And why do You permit so many people to have to suffer the cruel, tragic burden of bereavement?”
Is God really to blame for such suffering? According to investigators, evidence was found in the wreckage that pointed to sabotage by a terrorist bomb. When men fight against one another to further their own selfish interests, should God be held responsible for the harm it may bring to others? No! It should be expected that humans would not be immune to the consequences of what they do. The apostle Paul wrote: “Whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) What is more, regarding the innocent victims of the cruel and irresponsible actions of others, Ecclesiastes 9:11 says that “time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.” Thus, a person may get hurt or even lose his life, not because God wants man to suffer but because, by chance, he is in the wrong place at the critical time.
A Real Killer
Experts have believed for many years that people who were aggressive and always in a hurry were prime targets of heart attacks. Now, however, new evidence suggests that anger, not impatience, may be the real killer. Dr. Redford Williams, Jr., of Duke University Medical Center, explained that being in a hurry or being a workaholic is “not necessarily bad for your heart,” reports the New York Post. Williams pointed out that “what is bad is if you have high levels of hostility and anger and you don’t bother to hide it when dealing with other people.” Those at high risk of heart attack were said to be “quick to reach the boiling point” and mistrustful of others’ motives. “They get angry often and openly express their displeasure, rather than holding it in,” notes the Post.
The ill effects of anger have long been known to students of the Bible. Centuries ago wise King Solomon wrote: “He that is quick to anger will commit foolishness” and “an enraged man stirs up contention.” However, a person who is “slow to anger quiets down quarreling.” (Proverbs 14:17; 15:18) Those who wisely follow this Biblical advice may lower the risk of heart disease. God’s Word is true: “A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”—Proverbs 14:30.