God and Natural Disasters

There is a lot of buzz about the presence or non-presence of God in all the tornados that took place across the plain states this week. Some are asking, “where is God in all of this,” and how to wrap our theology around such events. In Luke 13:4 Jesus uses a similar disaster to teach truth about sin and righteousness. Circumstances of disasters do not determine the overall judgment of a group of people as if others are no less sinful. In the same way we are not to judge the poor as less righteous because they don’t seem to prosper in this life (Luke 16:19-31). Jesus uses the Luke 13 passage to call people to repentance saying or they will likewise perish. It’s not that tornados or falling towers will be the end of us, but that such an end is sudden and unexpected. Those who were killed may have thought or talked about having time in their old age to turn their live over to Christ, and yet in a sweeping moment that possibility is gone. Yet I have to add that these or anyone that perishes in such ways are never to be thought of as an innocent party. The same passages show that judgment is coming and it may be highly unexpected, and so to make the best of the opportunities to repent and seek God now. These temporal reminders of judgment are to remind us of the swift judgment to come, and when there will be a time when it is considered too late. Judgment does come on behalf of sin, and as mentioned we should never attempt to single out a party or a particular sin to define the disaster, we can say that judgment comes because of sin. We should acknowledge the hand of God in all things, and like Job accept that God’s ways are higher than ours, and we should accept the good with the bad, and move on in our sanctification and service to our neighbors, having been pricked in the heart by such events that we do not know the time we have left.

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