What Was God Thinking?
My friend and I were chatting online a few days ago about the devastation of the many parts of Japan due to the twin-events of the earthquake and the tsunami. I was giving her graphic details of what I was watching on TV; huge waves as tall as 27 feet, travelling at 500km/h and wrecking everything in its path.
As we wondered about the scope and the extent of the carnage, she asked, ‘I wonder what God was thinking when all this was happening?’ I asked her what she meant and she said, ‘Couldn’t He have prevented it from happening?’ My reply was, ‘God made a perfect world but man took a decision contrary to God’s command and since then, we have been facing the consequences’.
I am sure like my friend, many will be asking the same questions. If God is good, why does he allow things like this to happen to both the innocent and the guilty, the good and the evil?
My thoughts about this are multi-dimensional. I will however focus on two important areas. The first and most critical is the fact that as creatures of God, we are given free will. We make choices every day just like Adam and Eve made the choice that profoundly altered the destiny of man till Jesus Christ our Lord came to the earth later to restore it. (Genesis 3: 17 – 21, John 1: 1- 12)
There was a time the disciples of Jesus asked Him a question like this. They had just heard how Pilate killed some Galileans and mixed their blood with the sacrifices they were about to offer.
When Jesus was told about this, they expected Him to give them reasons why this happened but His response was not what they expected, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish’ ( Luke 13: 2 – 3) He went on to make reference to a tower that fell on eighteen people in Siloam, killing them. He told his listeners, “do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13: 4 -5)
Natural disasters have been happening for ages. It affects both the innocent and the guilty, the good and the bad. The reason is because we live in a fallen world. A world that God has plans to purge because of man’s sin which seems to be increasing and getting more sophisticated with time.
The first major earthquake recorded in the Bible was when the sons of Korah, Dathan and Abiram rebelled against the authority of Moses. Moses summoned them into a meeting but they rejected his invitation.
What was the result? Moses asked all the people who have chosen to follow the Lord and the authority He gave to Moses, to move away from the tents of the rebels. Right before their eyes, the ground shook, opened up and swallowed up the men, their possessions and their family members. They suffered the consequences of the choice they made and what a consequence it was!
My second perspective on natural disasters and God’s thoughts is the prophesies of Jesus as it relates to the end times. He specifically mentioned that the world would experience natural disasters unprecedented in the history of man. One of the events mentioned is earthquakes. In the last decade, there has not been a year where massive earthquakes have not been recorded. The ante has been upped in the past 5 years. Students of scripture will understand that these are indeed the times that Jesus spoke about and indeed it’s not going to get better, rather we will be seeing more massive ones.
Should this make us afraid or quake in fear? Not at all! When we walk in the knowledge of who we are in God, we are encouraged because we know that like Paul, nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Meanwhile, we will do all we can in the present, to pray, comfort and encourage those who are affected by the events in Japan.
What was God thinking anyway? If you ask me, I would say, His thoughts were with the dying as He helped them cope with the transition from life to death. His thoughts were with those who were trapped as He miraculously rescued then from the earthquake and the destructive waters.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11)
(c) Biblepraise Newsletter, 2011.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He currently resides in London where he works as an IT professional. He serves in the ministerial team of his local church as well as in the music ministry. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org