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Accidents Have A Cause

CHAPTER 7

An accident is something we thought we didn't want.

Thought: All the accidents that just happened didn't.

Word: Pr. 26:2: "...the curse causeless shall not come."

Conclusion: There are no causeless accidents.

If there is one thing that is common to humanity other than life itself, it is having accidents. From our childhood up, we have bumped our heads, hit our thumbs and run into things. Most everyone has experienced an accident of some kind in their life. As adults, we have accidents too; from spilling the milk to crashing airliners full of people. When an accident occurs, someone will usually say, "It was an accident; it couldn't be helped." We know it's just part of life, or is it? Jesus dealt with the subject in the following passage:

"There were present at the season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering, said unto them, Do you suppose that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, do you think that they were sinners above all men that dwelled in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except you repent, you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:1-5.

At that time, it was commonly thought that a person who had an accident was being arbitrarily punished for his sins. Christ refuted that idea, but indicated that if the people had repented, they would have been spared. He went on to point out that those present could expect the same type of thing if they didn't repent. It is important to note that Jesus put a very real cause-effect relationship between rebellion and accidents.

All accidents have causes; that is why this chapter was titled: "Accidents Have a Cause." By dictionary definition, an accident is something that happens unexpectedly without an apparent cause. There are many reasons why we have accidents. It is easy to see apparent causes that may range from a slippery floor or ice on the highway to one losing his balance on a ladder. It is more difficult to trace cause and effect when it is related to attitude. A hateful and angry attitude can bring a host of accidents from earthquakes to car wrecks but they are rarely connected.

We view good things as accidents too. If a person lives to a ripe old age, we say that he was "very lucky" because most people do not live that long. Someone will say that he was lucky not to have been in a fatal accident, or have had a heart attack. God, in speaking to King Solomon, spoke to the matter of long life: "And if you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days." 1 Kings 3:14. As we have seen, God's commandments, His character, are the same as universal law. The perfect observance of these things will guarantee long life. Again, in Psalm 91:16, we read about long life: "With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation." Long life is no accident, it is a relationship. To those who are in harmony with universal law, God continually speaks through His Spirit. If a person is in rebellion against God, they will not hear the counsel and warnings that may allow them to avoid accidents.

A missionary friend was getting on a plane a few years ago. He heard a voice telling him not to get on. He looked, and saw no one speaking to him. He decided to get on again, and again heard a voice telling him to stay off that plane. He obeyed and later found out that the plane had crashed with all lost. A coincidence you say, just a quirk of fate; not at all, but the working out of the promise of safety to the obedient ones.

By walking in God's light, we can observe the laws of the universe and avoid accidents. Anything that hinders us from observing the orderly laws of the universe will place us in a position of possible accident. If we let feelings like jealousy, hate, envy or selfishness come into our lives, we hinder the light of God. He can no longer speak His warnings to us, and we are vulnerable to what we call accidents. Any sin, intentional violation of universal law, that is held onto will block God's voice in us. You see, accidents do have a cause. We must take responsibility for them just as we must take responsibility for the rest of our lives.

There may be accidents around us, but we do not need to participate in those accidents. David said in Psalm 91, "A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you; only with your eyes will you behold and see the reward of the wicked." The man who is in perfect harmony can find peace and safety in the middle of confusion and evil circumstances.

"Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him." Ps. 37:37-40.

Not only is a righteous man protected within accidents or disasters, he can help others avoid them. In Acts 27, the story is recounted of Paul's journey to Rome aboard a ship. The shipmaster was about to leave in winter and Paul said to the crew, "Sirs," verse 10, "I perceive that this voyage will be with much hurt and damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives." The shipmaster paid no attention and sailed anyway. A bad storm did develop and the ship was in great peril. Paul finally spoke to the others, verse 21, "But after long abstinence, Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs you should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss." Paul went on to tell them that an angel had told him that if they all stayed with him, no lives would be lost, though the ship would be. They did stay and were all saved. Their ignoring of Paul's warning had lost the ship and caused the accident, and their paying attention to him the second time had saved their lives. Even then, some men wanted to take a lifeboat and leave the ship. Paul warned against this, they listened, and in verse 44, it is recorded that they all escaped to safety. They were all saved by the relationship of one man, Paul.

Some people will tell you that an accident is something that you don't do on purpose. It is true that we create our environment, and it is true that we are responsible for our creation. If a man jacks up a car to change a tire and places the jack incorrectly so that the car falls on him halfway through the tire change, he may say, "I had an accident, I didn't do it on purpose." Of course, he doesn't want to get the broken leg that he may suffer, but even though he acted out of ignorance, he can blame the accident on no one other than himself. If he were perfectly honest, he would have to admit that he had opportunity to correctly use the jack, and if he looked even deeper, he would look past this apparent cause and see the real need in his soul which made space for the accident.

As this shows, accidents can occur through ignorance. This is no excuse for them, though. If we are careful in observing the way the universe operates as it relates to us, we will have the knowledge we need to avoid accidents. Even our ignorance is caused since God has promised to reveal to his faithful children everything necessary for a safe and joyful life. The Bible says: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee...." Is. 26:3. We can get from this that the mind who is not stayed on God, will not have peace.

One example of such a happening came about in the wilderness where the children of Israel were sojourning. In Numbers, chapter 21, the children of Israel were complaining because they were having a hard time. The people were discouraged and began to find fault with Moses and with God. Suddenly, fiery serpents came out of the sand and began biting the people. The people caused fiery serpents. They created them. It was like saying, "I feel so bad I would like to be bitten by a snake." A merciful God then set up an escape for those who would take it, however, there would have been no snakes if their minds had been stayed on God. Have you ever said to your child, "Stop crying, or I will give you something to cry about?" God does that too.

Life is sometimes referred to as a path. This is, in a way, true. We all move along a path towards the end of this world. The entire universe is moving to that end. We can avoid the tragedies and accidents of life along that path by having a relationship with God that brings us in harmony with universal law. With the rest of God's universe, we may move in perfect harmony to creation.

Accidents - Bible Study

1. Any accident has its cause.

Prov. 26:2: "As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come."

Is. 3:10,11: "Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him...Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him."

Jer. 6:19: "Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts."

2. Jesus showed how non-repentance would make one available for accident.

Luke 13:1-5: "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

3. King David gives us the purpose of the accidents that come.

Ps. 119:71: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."

4. This scripture is good to see how accidental snakes are created.

Study Numbers 21:4-9.

5. Study the entire chapter 91 of Psalms. This shows that no plague will come to your dwelling. Is this true, except in case of accidents?

6. Those who listen to God fear no evil.

Pr. 1:33: "But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."

7. The truth is, nothing shall hurt you.

Luke 10:19: "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

8. He who fears God will not be visited with evil.

Pr.19:23: "The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied: he shall not be visited with evil."

9. With God's law in your heart, your steps do not slide.

Ps. 37:31: "The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide."

Accidents Have A Cause - E.G. White

"The great General of armies will lead in every battle for the advancement of His cause. He will be the guide of His people in the perilous conflicts in which they have to engage, if the under leaders and under shepherds will do their appointed work, and listen to the voice which says : 'This is the way, walk ye in it.' 'He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness.' What a great comfort this promise should be to us! We may walk in the light as He is in the light." TM 211.

"Many fearful losses and fatal accidents have occurred by putting off matters which should have received immediate attention. The season for action is spent in hesitancy, thinking that tomorrow will do; but tomorrow is frequently found to be too late. Our offices suffer financially every day on the account of indecision, dallying, recklessness, indolence, and on the part of some, downright dishonesty. There are some employed in these offices who pass along as indifferently as though God had given them no mental power to be exercised in the caretaking. Such are unfitted for any post of duty; they can never be depended upon. Men and women who shun duties in which difficulties are involved will remain weak and inefficient. Those who educate themselves to do their work with dispatch, as well as with economy, will drive their business instead of allowing their business to drive them." 4T 453.

"I saw that in our journeying...he [Satan] had frequently placed his evil angels in our path to cause accident which would destroy our lives; but holy angels were sent upon the ground to deliver. Several accidents have placed my husband and myself in great peril and our preservation has been wonderful. I saw that we had been the special objects of Satan's attacks because of our interest in and connection with the work of God. As I saw the great care which God has every moment for those who love and fear Him, I was inspired with confidence and trust in God, and felt reproved for my lack of faith". 1T 347.

"No truth does the Bible more clearly teach than that what we do is the result of what we are. To a great degree the experiences of life are the fruition of our own thoughts and deeds. 'The curse causeless shall not come'." ED 146.

"Terrible is this truth, and deeply should it be impressed. Every deed reacts upon the doer. Never a human being but may recognize, in the evils that curse his life, fruitage of his own sowing." ED 146.

"Their thoughts were stormy and unreasonable, and the Lord gave them something else to afflict their souls and occupy their minds. God often does this when men create burdens and troubles for themselves." DA 380.

"While we should be keenly alive to our exposure to the assaults of unseen and invisible foes, we are to be sure that they cannot harm us without gaining consent." AH 405.

"Not one that in penitence and faith claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power." DA 490.

"If permitted, they (evil angels) can distract our minds, disorder and torment our bodies, destroy our possessions and our lives....Fearful is the condition of those who resist the divine claims and yield to Satan's temptations until God gives them up to the control of evil spirits. But those who follow Christ are ever safe under His watchcare....The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about His people." GC 517.

"The Lord often employs His bitterest enemies to punish the unfaithfulness of His professed people." PP 585.

"Wherever iniquity is cherished, there, swift and unerring, the divine judgments will follow." PP 586.

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. What is the nature of accidents that may take place within my life? How might my behavior have a causative factor in these accidents?
  2. Do I give attention to detail in all that I do?
  3. Am I ever impatient while I work?
  4. Do I ever feel angry when something is not going right?
  5. Am I ever frustrated with planning or in carrying out my plans?
  6. Do I ever rush through a project?
  7. Do I ever feel resentment that others are not helping me in my job?
  8. Do I ever feel that people should move out of my way?
  9. Do I ever feel anxiety, fear or criticism over the way someone is driving a car?
  10. When I am using a tool, does it ever come to my mind that I might be able to use the tool more safely, but dismiss the thought knowing that nothing will happen to me?
  11. Is my working area neat and orderly? Are my tools stored neatly?
  12. When I notice something on my car needs attention or service, do I ever delay that because I don't have the money or I think I might get a few more miles out of it?
  13. When I have some kind of accident, do I ever feel I was somehow not responsible? Do I look for someone else to blame right away?

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