ARE DISASTERS JUDGMENTS FROM GOD?
(Luke 13:4-5) "Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
With all the disasters happening in the world today some might wonder if God is judging mankind. Is evil being punished and sinners being dealt with by the heavy hand of God? It’s an interesting question to ponder. But what does Scripture say?
God told Israel that if they chose not to obey Him then certain curses would be dealt to them. Some of these included natural disasters (Deu 28). There are also instances where God delivered His people before He brought destruction on the wicked. I think of Noah (Gen 6-8) and Lot (Gen 18-19). I think also of the Church being raptured (Rev 4) before the twenty-one judgments are poured out on mankind (Rev 6-18).
The Bible declares that good things can happen to bad people and bad things can happen to good people:
(Mat 5:45) . . . for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
(Job 2:10) Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?
On 9/11 there were Christians as well as non-Christians in the World Trade Center. In New Orleans Hurricane Katrina wiped out a pastor’s home as well as the home of the party reveler. And who’s to say that in one disaster it might be judgment for the wicked and refining for the Christian? I don’t know exactly. I think we need to leave all judgment on these kinds of matters to God. (1 Cor 4:5) We live in a fallen world. Things are going to happen. What God determines from them is His prerogative (Rom 11:33).
I think Jesus lays it out the best. He brought up the current news about a tower that fell on eighteen people and killed them. He didn’t say it was a judgment from God or that these men were greater sinners than the rest in Jerusalem. But what He did occasion to say was that unless people repented they would likewise perish!
So, I guess we can say that when disasters happen it can be seen as a “wake-up call.” That destruction could happen to us all at any time and that we need to be ready to meet our Maker. We can be bearers of good news and tell people that through Jesus we can be spared an eternal disaster! (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.