Father, why does God allow miseries to happen?
There are many cases. Sometimes God allows something to happen in order to see something better appearing from it and other times He allows this as a pedagogy. Some are rewarded and others pay.Nothing is aimless. You should know that everything God allows, even to be killed people, it is out of his love for men, because God is merciful. How many people did prophet Elijah kill? 300 priests of Baal. When he told them: Pray and I shall pray myself and whose fire will be lit by itself has the true God, the priests of Baal started to cry: Hear us, Baal, our God, hear us! But there was no answer, no one heard them.
Then prophet Elijah told them: Your God must be busy with something and doesn’t hear you. Cry louder! Those went on crying and cut their bodies as they used to , so that they could feel pain and cry even louder and Baal could hear them. Ultimately they didn’t suceed in anything. Prophet Elijah said: Pour water over my wood.Do it for three times.Then they threw water thrice. The wood was all wet and the water was flowing around them. Then prophet Elijah prayed and fire came from the skies and burnt everything was on the altar for sacrifice and the altar as well. Then he said: Catch all Baal’s servants because they call people to idolatry and he stabbed them all.
Many say: Well, but how could prophet Elijah kill so many? God is not a barbarian nor was Elijah. The priests of the idols cheated so many people that prophet Elijah came to say: I remained alone! There went till there. And the prophet put an end to their martyrdom since the priests suffered more because of the wounds made by themselves than because of Elijah’s knife. And this is because what God allows is out of his love for people.
Why, father, in the Old Testament God’s punishment was so immediate?
In the Old Testament the people understood only that language and that law.
Then there was the same God but that law was for those people who didn’t understand otherwise.
You should not consider that law too severe and the Gospel different. It was the law which was useful for that time. That law was not barbarian, but that people was of barbarians.
The men from nowadays may commit many barbarisms but they can understand at least.
Now when a vigil light is moving there are so many people who are moved! But then you see how many things God did!
He gave ten plagues to the pharaoh to take the Jews out of Egypt. He turns the Red Sea into dry land so that they could cross it. He gives them cloud during the day to protect them from being burnt by the sun and a bright pillar to lead them during night. And after so many miraculous deeds they came to that stage to ask for having as god a golden calf!
Nowadays the people would never say that a calf may take them to the Promised Land.
Source: Pious Paisios the Athonite, With pain and love for the man of nowadays, Evanghelismos Publishing, Bucharest 2012