Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Falling Towers
March 24, 2011


Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Falling Towers

 

Like you, I was horrified and deeply saddened as I watched the images on my television screen of the devastation caused in Japan by the recent earthquake and Tsunami. The earthquake itself caused terrible destruction and loss of life but far more destructive was the massive Tsunami that subsequently engulfed that land. Houses, shops, cars, boats and even large aeroplanes were lifted and carried along by the huge wave of water and mud that swallowed up streets, shopping centres, airports and schools. The short and long-term effects of the destruction of the Fukushima Nuclear plant has still not been properly assessed. All in all it is probably one of the worst natural disasters to have occurred on the continent of Asia and perhaps in the world.

Many people will have been asking the question – “Where is God in all this?”  Whilst there are no easy answers to such questions (even those given by atheists do not satisfy the inquiring mind), the Bible does have something to say on these matters.

 

The Bible teaches that when sin came into this world it not only affected human beings in every aspect of their lives (physically, morally, intellectually, emotionally, socially etc), it also affected the very fabric of the planet, causing it to no longer function in the good and perfect way in which it was originally created by God  (see Romans 8v20-22)  Our knowledge of the earth has increased to the extent that we now know about the existence of the various Tectonic Plates of which the earth is composed and how the movements of such plates cause earthquakes. This, if you like, is the scientific explanation as to how earthquakes occur. The scientific explanation however does not rule out and, as far as Christians are concerned, is perfectly in keeping with the aforementioned theological explanation - the former being the result of the latter.  The world is not the way it was originally made. However the Christian message teaches that God is not just renewing people, he is also, one day, going to renew the world itself (see 2 Peter 3v13).

 

In Luke 13v4 Jesus refers to a local disaster in which a stone tower collapsed on top of people resulting in eighteen deaths.  Contrary to how some people at the time had explained that disaster Jesus says that the people who died in that tragedy did not die because God was judging them and punishing them for being worse sinners than others who survived the tragedy. What Jesus does say is “unless you repent you will all likewise perish”  Jesus was saying that such tragedies should remind people of the uncertainty of life and move them to take the necessary steps to ensure that they do not die in their sins.  Tragedy can strike in an instant. It can come in the form of an earthquake, a Tsunami, a terrorist bomb, a heart-attack, a road traffic accident, a plane crash or in any number of  a multitude of ways. If we die unforgiven and unsaved we will perish in our sins and be subjected to the punishment that such sins deserve. The tragedy in Japan and other similar tragedies are reminders to us of the uncertainty of life and the importance of being made right with God before we ourselves die.  The only person who can make us right with God is Jesus.

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