How should we look at this disasters, those of us who trust the Bible as God’s word?
Was the Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami From God?
You have probably seen the claims yourself by now. After big tragedies like this happen, some always come out saying that this event was a "judgement from God." I heard one ministry say, "God did it." Yet, when you wait to hear how they know this for sure, no good or specific explanation is provided. They say that perhaps it was the paganism of the people in Asia. Or perhaps it was for celebrating Christmas, a holiday they point out is not from the Bible, but whose origins are pagan. Or perhaps it was just the general judgmental nature of God, the right he reserves to zap anyone who steps out of line.
My logical computer programmer mind has a problem with such reasoning. If this is all the justification God needs to dispatch thousands, then why is there anyone left on the planet? Most of the world is pagan and most of the world celebrates Christmas, so why did Sumatra and the Indian Ocean region get hit and the rest of the pagans were not? And we've all broken his law, yet we still stand. Why?
Another question this raises for me is whether the people who make these claims believe every natural disaster is from God? If not, then which disasters are from God and which are not and how do we know? Was 9-11 from God? Was the earthquake in Iran one year ago from God? When does God decide to cause these things and when are they just plain cause and effect free of supernatural intervention?
Well, What Does the Bible Say?
To the contrary, the Bible does not claim that God is behind every disaster. Notice Jesus/Yeshua's commentary on this very subject:
Luke 13:4-5 - 4 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? 5 I tell you, Nay
Jesus denied the idea that how bad a sinner you are is what determines whether you fall into big trouble. Then what was the reason for their end? There had to be a reason, right? Solomon offers further explanation:
Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 -
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
Could it be that the people of Asia were just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Yes, according to the Bible that is the general rule. I am not saying that God never intervenes, or that it is not possible in this case that God was behind it. The Bible tells us God has done these things in the past and I believe there are cases where it is obvious he is doing it today still. He may cause a natural disaster to be worsened or simply timed to punctuate some abomination that men have done. Bill Koenig of www.watch.org is an expert in linking up the cause with the effect. He supports his case by using God's own specific claims in the Bible about what he hates and what he will do. For example, Abraham was promised by God that he would forever bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel (Gen 12:1-3). And it can be shown time and time again that whenever anyone make plans to divide up Israel's land or pressure her into doing so, bad things happen usually on the same day or within 24 hours. The subject of The Perfect Storm movie was one such example:
As President George Bush (senior) is opening the Madrid Conference to consider "Land for Peace" in Israel's Middle East role, the "perfect storm" develops in the North Atlantic, creating the largest waves ever recorded in that region. The storm travels 1000 miles from East to West (instead of the normal West to East pattern) and crashes into the New England coast. Thirty five foot waves crash into the Kennebunkport home of President Bush.
However, I have seen no similar case made yet for God's hand in the Sumatra disaster. Until I see one, I am not convinced his hand was in it. Further I would caution people from making unsupported claims that make God seem out to get people for no reason. The God of the Bible is a logical, rational and reasonable Father (of course not to the casual observer, mind you, but only once you study and understand his Word). He does not do things haphazardly, but according to a pattern, according to rules. Everything he does is for a reason and by observing what he does his servants should be able to see how he consistently acts and judges according to his absolute values, building their faith in him.
Perhaps a Biblical pattern will later emerge to explain why God would have legally needed to cause Sumatra. Yet even without that, this tragedy has great importance if we continue using our heads and thinking about its significance.
Regardless, God Did Allow It. But Why?
The question that occurs to most people is not did he do it, but why did he allow it to happen. Because it is obvious that he did not stop it. Why does God allow any suffering? No one seems to have a good answer for that very big question, even those who read the Bible. They often claim that this is done to "win souls to Jesus." Well, I can think of much more effective ways to accomplish that, such as sending a prophet or angel doing miracles and teaching us everything, or just simply adding a book to the Bible that finally makes it plain as day and thus much more convicting than it is now.
There is an answer to this big question, a very good and reasonable one. But it requires being familiar with God's seven millennia plan to understand it. That is a discussion worthy of an entire eBook. But we have a clue in the statement of Jesus quoted earlier, if we continue reading.
"Depart From Me, I Never Knew you!" - Jesus
Jesus predicted that he will tell many sincere believers to basically "get lost" instead of welcoming them into the Kingdom. So...who are they and what did they miss or do wrong? In this study, get those answers and the one requirement for salvation Jesus taught (that Christianity misses) so that you can make sure you don't hear these dreaded words yourself!
Luke 13:4-5 - 4 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? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
We live in a dangerous, downright lethal world. The world can very easily hand us a situation beyond our limits to survive. But if we choose to go our own way doing what seems right in our own eyes and relying on our own strength, then we cannot expect any help or intervention from God in these crises. We may very possibly encounter a premature death like those in Siloam, or those in Asia. But we cannot conclude that this means God did it, although he did allow it for a reason.
God gave us free will to allow us to choose our own way, rather than force his way upon us unconditionally. He allows us to "reap what we sow", or experience the natural consequences of our actions without intervention from him. By doing so he is letting us learn for ourselves, firsthand, what works and what does not work so well. Sometimes these lessons cost us our lives, but God does not seem too worried about that. He already planned for it through the "Great White Throne Judgement" resurrection (Rev 20; Eze 37) when the billions who died in rejection or ignorance of his way will be taught the truth plainly at last.
How to be Safe from Any "Flood Waters"
However, it does not have to be that way. As Jesus said, if we repent, or choose to stop going our own ways and instead direct our ways according to God's instructions in the Bible, then we do not have to meet our maker prematurely. God has and will protect his dedicated servants in the future. Does he always choose to do so? No. Is everyone a dedicated servant worthy of protection who calls Jesus "Lord", claims to be his servant, or calls themself a follower of the Messiah? No. Jesus made this clear himself:
Luke 6:46-49 -
46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
If we want to be safe from all kinds of disasters, both real judgements from God and also the more common random events, it is up to us. We must realize our strength is not enough and see the need for God and then act on it. The action required is to diligently search and find out for ourselves what God wants. This is not the kind of thing you should trust someone else to do for you. In other words, you cannot substitute someone else's judgement for your own. You cannot stand before the judgement seat and say you were only doing what your pastor, rabbi or teacher told you was what the Bible or God said.
In case you are not quite there yet, I think you would want to know something that most are not aware of. I want you to be clear that Sumatra was not a fluke. The Bible tells us that more disasters like this are coming. In fact, it tells us specifically that an earthquake greater than Sumatra is going to come to the entire world at the 6th seal, causing a universal panic. To make matters worse, it will be followed by deep impacts in the ocean and the Earth, great famine and finally the Great Tribulation. If you want more information on this critical topic, I have written an eBook to explain the detailed prophecies describing this.
Why Do I Charge For My Research?
Sumatra is only a small forerunner to and wake-up call before similar, yet much worse things coming. Why am I telling you this? Am I making this up and saying it only to sell a book? Some people find it offensive that I connect the two subjects with a book for sale on the latter subject. One person even wrote me simply to say, "You're an ignorant ASS using tragedy to line your pockets." They seemed concerned that I would only help people for a price when the real tragedy struck. I'm happy to address that concern.
Make no mistake, this is not making me rich. In fact, I lose money by writing and promoting this book instead of putting the hours into programming for a client to support my family. There's just not enough people interested in hearing about a disaster coming which one must prepare for by changing their way of life right now in advance. The book has a price to offset the time put into it, the web site costs, and the advertising costs. If I did not charge for it, then I could not justify putting the time into writing it, as I have a family to support. It would not be available and advertised so that people could even find it.
Then why am I doing it? Because I see the need for there to be better explanations of the prophecies than I find available out there. I am therefore doing what I can to help now within the Biblical constraints of taking care of my own house first (1Ti 5:8). Later, when the 6th seal hits, there will be nothing I can do to help an entire population that finds themselves on their own in a meteorite storm without God and without hope saying mistakenly:
Revelation 6:16-17 -
16 ...to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
I say "mistakenly" because the wrath of God is not until the seven bowls after the 7th trumpet (Rev 16:1, 19). The seals and early trumpets are only "the beginning of sorrows" (Mt 24). It's easy to understand why the general population would assume that the worst global disasters on earth anyone alive has ever seen are the wrath of God. You have no way of knowing at that point that his wrath is much worse, and comes later. You're just trying to figure out how to "stand" or endure it.
God willing, I will be among those able to stand because they listened to the Bible and relocated to the place where God told us in advance to be right before the 6th seal hits. Those there will do their best after it passes to let the other survivors know that the bad stuff is far from over...but that it's not too late to start seeking to hear and do what God instructed us to do both in the End Times and in general. We will be giving hope, but it will still come at a price: repentance.
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