Natural disasters happen all the time and the questions that always surface are: Where is God? Why does God allow disasters to happen?
Total destruction in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian has ravaged the Bahamas and left widespread devastation. One estimate said 70% of the island was underwater. Some 70,000 people are homeless. There is no power or running water.
Hundreds of people are missing and at least 45 are dead. Aid is coming in, but slowly.
The inconvenient biblical truth about natural disasters
A number of natural disasters occur on Earth every year, as they have from time immemorial. So the question is: What is God’s role in natural disasters?
God takes a number of roles in terms of natural disasters. First of all, “natural” is the proper word because many of these disasters are simply the natural occurrences of systems that God put in place.
But then we also must consider and acknowledged two inconvenient truths:
- God could prevent some natural disasters but chooses not to.
- God has had a hand in causing some natural disasters to occur (*see Noah, flood; see Jonah, storm; see Moses, plagues).
Why does God allow natural disasters to occur?
A reading of the Bible will show that the natural disasters that occurred in Scripture always brought lessons.
The first lesson, of course, is that nothing is certain in life. The second is that there is a power at work that is greater than our own.
Ultimately, Mankind is not in control and does not control its own destiny. We need to submit to the will and authority of God. Time and again in Scripture, we see that individuals and nations have been humbled for rejecting God.
Is God a loving and merciful God?
Because of the destruction, havoc, and death left in the aftermath of natural disasters, many wonder how a merciful and loving God could allow such things to happen.
But first, we must remember that mankind is in a fallen state. The perfection of Eden was lost when mankind chose to disobey God.
Mankind has been doing so ever since. Sin is an action. And like any action, there is a cause and effect. The Bible tells us that the fall of mankind cursed all of nature, not only human beings.
Life has a purpose
We need to remember that the lives we live here on Earth are extremely short in the grand scope of time. But even more so, we must remember that death from this life is not the end.
There is a second life and death – that’s the one that matters most.
In this first life, we are here to learn, grow and eliminate sin from our lives. Becoming redeemed saves us from this second, eternal death, while granting us eternal life that is void of suffering, pain, and sorrow.
Our goal here is to try to avoid sin and eliminate the suffering of others, while following Christ’s instructions to love others as we would ourselves.