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Tornadoes. Flooding. Earthquakes. Tsunamis.

What is God up to? Or perhaps we could ask, What is God allowing and why?”

Biblically, there are three things we do know about catastrophic events. One is that such things don’t  happen to people because they are worse sinners than others. That’s silly for the very important biblical truth that everybody is a tragically fallen sinner, including you and me. In addition, we have this from Jesus: “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish’” (Luke 13:1–5 ESV).

When Jesus said “…unless you repent you will all likewise perish,” He meant perish suddenly without the opportunity to repent and turn to God.

We also have this from Paul: “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside” (1 Corinthians 5:12–13). All the talk we do about how sinful the world is—well, God judges those, and it’s not our job.

So it’s really foolish for Christians to think that God is punishing certain people or certain areas of the country.

However, is it possible to know what God is up to in the midst of all these disasters?

Good question. Is it the last days? Yeah, but it’s been the last days for two thousand years. Is Jesus going to return soon? Yes, but He’s been a soon-returning Savior for two thousand years. We should pray for His return. We should expect His return. We should be ready for His return. All of this is biblical.

But why is God allowing or actually causing all of these terrible things to happen? (Allowing them or causing them is a subtle difference that may mean nothing. He is not unaware of these things. He could prevent them if He chose.)

Here is my opinion, and let me make it clear that that is all it is. I am not claiming that God has given me understanding about these disastrous events. But I do wonder about what is happening. The catastrophes that have happened inside the United States have been mostly economic disasters. I say “mostly.” In no way do I want to minimize the loss of human life. It’s terrible—that’s all there is to it, and we should pray for those who have lost loved ones. However, the loss of life has been small in comparison to what happened with the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Southwest Asia, for example. In light of this fact, I wonder if God is challenging the way we view money and wealth in this country—and perhaps in Japan, as well, where there was also a minimal loss of life when the tsunami struck. When the Lord brought the plagues to Egypt, some of the were in-your-face challenges to the gods of Egypt.

Again, the inhabitants of Joplin, those who live along the Mississippi River, the inhabitants of Massachusetts, the Dakotas, Montana and all the other places where disasters have struck, are no worse sinners than any of the rest of us who have yet to experience such tragedies. However, is God, in His mercy, saying, “Money and wealth do not fulfill you and never will. My ultimate purpose for you is not that you attain the American dream—although I will surely take care of you—but that you know Me”?

Just wondering.

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