Wed 1 Jun, 2005 02:09 pm
Zachariah lived only 72 days. It's not fair. Once again, we as survivors ask WHY? Is Zach's death a punishment from some harsh god for our sins? Well, it is true that I have enough sins for many deaths. But justice would require me to pay that price myself. Believe me when I say I would. Any of our family would, in return for Zach's innocent life.
Some have offered comfort by saying God needs babies in heaven, or that Zach is in a better place. We value these kind thoughts, but they are flawed. Think about it! Can we suppose Jehovah, the sovereign of the universe, to be in need of anything, much less the company of an infant whose loss causes so much sorrow? If it were true, then we should honor those Canaanites who sacrificed their babies to Moloch. They burned them alive, you know. Perhaps earth is merely a farm to populate heaven. Then we should venerate those religious leaders throughout the centuries who blessed the swords and cannons and the battleships while encouraging young men to surrender their lives to the gods of war. And we should redefine our perception of the inquisition, the plagues, earthquakes, famines, and all other death dealing events of man's history. Not disasters, blessings.
Zachariah lived only 72 days. He had gotten so far as to recognize the faces of his immediate family. I believe he was laughing. Perhaps he realized I was funny looking; I don't know. But I do know that Zach had not the slightest idea of the danger that might threaten him. For eventually he would give his life as an unforeseen consequence of a struggle between two colossal forces.
Actually, you know the story; you've heard it many times. Remember? Many years ago there was a garden; and our original father and mother were given all they needed for everlasting life. "Be fruitful and become many" . . . Subject the land and the creatures of the earth, they were told. And why are they not here today? They sinned; remember? Eat anything you want, but not of this tree; God said. The punishment would be death.
"You won't die." Satan said; God is keeping something good from you. The name of the tree was the knowledge of good and bad. Yes, Adam and Eve sinned, and brought death into the world. And humans have been making their own decisions as to what is good and what is bad ever since.
So, if you were Jehovah, what would you have done right then and there to those rebels? I know what I might have done: BZZZT! But then you and I would not have had a chance to have been born. In his love for Adam and Eve's unborn offspring Jehovah allowed the rebellion to continue. He essentially has given the earth to Satan all this time for him to prove his points: namely, that Jehovah does not have the right to set standards for his creatures and people would only serve Him out of selfishness.
Satan has since controlled all of man's history. Take a realistic stare at our present and our past. Is any other conclusion possible? Every time honest hearted men have attempted to establish righteous government, they have eventually failed. And that's just the honest hearted men; and that's just government. How do they measure up with regards to sickness and death, crime and violence?
The only reason we know these things and are able to relate them to you is because throughout the centuries, Jehovah has sustained representatives here on earth to record these events, to give counsel for mankind, to instruct us in his standards and provide us a sure hope for the future. We know of many: Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus, who laid down his perfect life as a substitute for Adam. Surely we could never conclude that such a one as Jehovah would ever allow his purpose to be frustrated by mere creations. So we may look forward to the restoration of paradise on earth, with satisfying lives free from oppression, suffering and death.
Zachariah lived only 72 days. His feet were still long and skinny. You know how a toddler's feet get chubby? Well, Zach's socks were always falling off. His feet were still cute, I mean; he just was not able to stand on them. Nor could he take a stand on one side or the other of this great struggle.
He will have his chance though, for Jehovah has promised that those who never had the opportunity to know him will live again.
But: what about us? We are being asked to stand up, to take sides. How may we learn about this? Would you like to meet Zachariah and watch him grow up? How about some other loved one who has died? Then read about this struggle in your bible. Read it often. Read it daily. And, if you should discover in your reading that one of your favorite habits or traditions puts you in opposition to God, don't lose heart. For if you make a sincere effort to change, Jehovah will bless your efforts; and he forgives in a large way.
Thank you for being with us today. May we soon all come together to say "blessed be Jehovah, the one who satisfies the desire of every living thing."
Zachariah, my grandson, died on June 30, 2001. Public talk given July 14, 2001.
Neologist - Please accept my condolences on the loss you and your family suffered when Zachariah died.
You asked on another thread what one can say when a child dies. I think what you did here, memoralizing him and what he meant to you, recalling what you loved and treasured about him, is perfect and ultimately healing. I also admire the hope and conviction you express in this peace-oops, meant piece- but I'll leave it as I typed it as it seems fitting somehow.
Thank you. The sadness is lessened somewhat by the passage of time. My main reason for posting was to make a point relative to some other threads.
I had to bring this up again for a friend to see.
Glad to see you again, neologist.
Thanks. EBay has kept me very busy