As I was reading this morning, I came across an article that talked about a question Steve Jobs asked his pastor in a Christian church. His question, can be found in the biography of Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson.

He was thirteen, attending a Christian church, and after looking at the cover of a magazine showing starving children, he asked,  “If I raise my finger, will God know which one I am going to raise even before I do it?” The pastor answered, “Yes, God knows everything.” Steve then pulled out the Life cover and asked, “Well does God know about this and what’s going to happen to those children?” The pastors reply was, “Steve, I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knows about that.” Steve Jobs announced that he didn’t want to have anything to do with worshipping such a God, and he never went back to church.

As you find out more about Steve Jobs, you realize that he did not only have an eye for design, and ease of use for his Macs. You will find that he was also a deeply spiritual man, always looking for peace and enlightenment. He spent some time in a commune, went to India to seek counsel of gurus, and was committed to Zen Buddhism.

What could this pastor have told Steve, who at thirteen, had a young inquisitive, thinking mind, like so many of that age do. What if he had told him what the Bible really says about those things? Did he not know, was he ashamed to say, or was he just not interested enough in the eternal soul of this young boy? I will not pretend to know why, however what ever the reason, if you, I or that pastor, do not answer this question truthfully, knowledgeably, and lovingly, we fall far short of the goal we have been given.

If you are like me, and most are, as I am just an average, everyday person, with nothing special to brag about, but happy with what I have. Then you may have attended a church, as a young person, where you learned about Jesus. You were told how much God loves you, about Jesus telling others that he was the way. You listened to stories about a flood that God sent to kill all but eight people, and how God parted the water for Moses to walk through. You and I were told that God knows everything, every time, everywhere, and that He loves us so much that His son died for us.

Then you grow up, now you are seventeen, maybe twenty, and your brain is better developed, and you begin to question things that you were told about God. You have memorized some verses from the Bible, and even read part of it sometimes, but now, you have many questions. Some you let go, but some, no matter what or who you ask, do not convince you, that what you were told when you were small, is really true. So you read other things, different books on religions, money, cultures, etc, searching for something, maybe not knowing at the time, but searching like Steve did, to fill a desire that has not been met.

Was Steve told that God made a world without any death or suffering. Was he told that the first man God created, Adam, rebelled against a loving, righteous God, and by doing that, Adam brought death to all the human race, and corruption to God’s perfect creation. Could Steve have been told, that the mess we see today in this world, and have through all the ages, is man’s fault, not God’s. The children Steve Jobs saw suffering was because of the sin that has corrupted the perfect world God made. My daughter, who reads the Bible, and is not afraid to ask questioned about it, asked me this question several weeks ago. “Dad, I don’t understand why God, who can do anything lets children starve.” I answered her by saying, “God is not letting children starve, He still brings the sunshine, and rain, that make fruits, and vegetable grow.” “Animals eat grass, to grow, so we have meat to eat.” It is man who stops food from reaching those starving; the United States, as well as other countries send millions of pounds of food, everyday, to nations with starving people.” “The sad fact is that more often than not, those in charge of these countries, take the food for themselves, for profit, or to force subjection to the very ones we try to help.” It is not God doing that, it is man, corrupt, hateful, greedy, sinful.”

Steve Jobs is not the first person to struggle with this issue. Many reject Christianity because they could not understand how a loving God could allow all the death and suffering in the world. It is a crucial question that every Christian needs to know how to answer. We cannot know what Steve would have decided if he had heard what God’s Word really says about suffering and death. But for sure the lack of an answer got in his way of finding the truth of the Bible.

Jesus Christ stepped into history and tasted death for us. The tragedy here is, did Steve Jobs, not hearing the Bible’s real explanation, turn away from Jesus Christ, the Creator and Saviour?

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