Julie and Jenny: A parable

A rich man had two daughters, called Julie and Jenny. Julie was the oldest and Jenny was adopted. When they grew up to be adults, they wanted their independence, so their father bought them a house to live in. They enjoyed the independence for a while, but they still felt constrained, because their father owned the house. He was a kind man, so he arranged for his solicitor to transfer the legal title for the house into the name of his daughters.

He said to them, "I want to you to be totally free from my control, so I have transferred the legal ownership of the house to you. It is now your house. You are free to do what you like in it. However, you need to understand that you are also responsible for it. Enjoy your freedom, but guard it carefully." He knew there was a risk, but he had taught them about life and money, so he trusted them.

The two daughters really enjoyed their freedom, but after some time Julie got bored and decided to leave home and travel overseas. Jenny was left with a house to herself.

One day Jenny heard Mr Banker advertising on the radio, "You will have just received the new government valuation for your property. I can show you how to use the increase in equity for your benefit." Jenny thought that this sounded pretty good, so she contacted Mr Banker. He agreed to loan her $500,000 and took out a mortgage over the property. Jenny had a great time with the money and lots of friends, but eventually the money was gone. Jenny was unable to pay her interest, so Mr Banker foreclosed on the mortgage and sold the property in a mortgagee sale.

The new owner of the property was Mr Saddun. He could have forced to leave, but he said she could continue to live in large hall cupboard. He then rented the rest of the house to three families of gang associates.

Life for Jenny was soon absolutely miserable. Her new neighbors invited all their friends around and gradually started wrecking the house. Jenny was stuck with people she hated in a house she loved that was being trashed.

When Jenny's friends heard what had happened, they were shocked. Some said that Jenny had been stupid; but that would not be a very good ending to a story. Some said that Mr Saddun was cruel and mercenary, but everyone knew that already. He said that he was generous, because he could have thrown her out of the house.

Many people said that Jenny's father should have done something to prevent the tragedy. But what could he do? He had given legal title over the house to his daughters, so he had no legal right to prevent the mortgage or the sale. Some might say that he made a mistake in giving the girls their freedom. Perhaps he should have retained legal ownership of the house, but then his girls would not have been totally free.

When Jenny's father heard what had happened, he wept, because he loved his daughter. He had known the risk when he gave her the house that things could go wrong, but he had chosen to giver her freedom, so she would grow to maturity.

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Interpretation

Some people say, "If God is a loving God, why does he allow disasters to destroy the lives of so many". The reason that God does not stop disasters is that he does not have the legal authority to do so.

When God created the world it was good and beautiful with no disasters or catastrophes to kill million's of people.

God saw all that he had made,
and it was very good (Gen 1:31)

God then did two things. He gave man (mankind) perfect freedom to choose how they would live, and he gave them legal authority over the entire earth.

God blessed them and said to them,
Be fruitful and increase in number;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground (Gen 1:28).

The highest heavens belong to the LORD,
but the earth he has given to man(Psalm 115:16).

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas (Psalm 8:8-5).

God gave us dominion over the earth, but we did not use it wisely. The devil tricked us into obeying him, and seized our authority over the earth from us. This is why he was able to show Jesus all authority over the earth and say that it had been given to him.

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me (Luke 4:5,6).

The fall didn't just affect our relationship with God, it also brought about a dramatic change to the entire earth, as the devil has used his authority to wreck destruction upon it. Although its original goodness has not been eradicated, it has become a much more dangerous place to live.

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it (Rom 8:20).

Creation is no longer totally good, as God created it, but is in bondage to death and decay and is groaning in pain (Rom 8:21,22). The groaning and graunching of the earth on Boxing Day, was the result.

We expect God to honour his promises and he does. He promised authority over the earth to man and he will not get involved, even when things go wrong, unless he is invited by man. He could not even send Jesus to earth on a rescue mission, until Mary and Anna and Simeon gave him permission by praying for a messiah.

Some people say that a disaster is an "Act of God". My bible says that God is good, kind and caring.

The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made (Psalm 145:8,9).

The death and destruction we have seen on television does not look like an act of this God.

Jesus said that the devil "comes to steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10). The killing and destroying, we have seen over the last few weeks looks to me more like the results of his efforts.

Satan used a lightening storm and a mighty storm to attack Job and his family (Job 1:16,19). This shows that he has power over nature as well as the world system.

Psalm 18:7-11 could be a description of the devil causing an earthquake, as it is doubtful that God would make darkness his covering

The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him- the dark rain clouds of the sky.

The devil is the cause of most bad things that happen on earth, so we should blame him and not God.

God gave legal authority over this earth to us, so we must take responsibility for what happens. The immediate responsibility rests with the devil, but since we continue to give him a place on this earth, the ultimate responsibility is ours. God's is only responsible in the sense that he gave us freedom, but we cannot really object to that.

Part 2: What Daddy Really Did.