Jul 23, 2009

Natural disasters, the Judgement of God?


katrina hurricane


Many have wondered if natural disasters, such as the one in New Orleans, are the work of God. Let me first say that God’s discipline for the Christian is always one on one and always involves the Word of God, not a natural disaster.

No doubt, many will attribute this to the judgment of God upon America. That is absolutely not the case. Jesus clearly stated in Luke 9:56 that He did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. This was said in a direct response to His disciples asking Him to call fire down from heaven and consume the Samaritans in judgment, just as Elijah had done in the Old Testament.

Jesus would not do it. In fact, He rebuked His disciples for desiring to do so. He was demonstrating that God would deal with man differently after the atonement was made. The book of Revelation describes a time in the future when God’s judgment will rain down upon unbelievers. However, today we are living in an age of grace when God is not imputing men’s sin unto them (2 Cor. 5:19).

There were, no doubt, godly men and women who lost their lives in this storm, but God certainly wasn’t judging them. That’s not God’s “method of operation” during this age of grace. If this would have been the judgment of God, it would have been much more severe.

In the Old Testament, there are many examples of the judgment of God. A death angel went through the land of Egypt and killed all the first born (Ex. 12:29-30). Sodom and Gomorrah were completely destroyed by fire from heaven, and the great flood at the time of Noah destroyed all but eight people (Gen. 7).

America (or your own country) is certainly worthy of judgment, but God is extending grace to America and all the nations of the earth during this church age. There will come a time when God’s judgment is released on the whole world, and no one will have to be told it’s God doing the judging. The Scripture says that people will actually cry out for the rocks to fall upon them and hide them from the wrath of God (Rev. 6:12-17). But that time has not yet come.

The Scripture does say that the earth is groaning in birth pains awaiting the return of the Lord to make it anew. It’s groaning because of the curse which was released upon it through Adam’s sin. These groans include natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Again, this is not to say that God causes these things.

by A.W.

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