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Natural Disasters - Why?

Roderick C. Meredith (1930-2017)
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The recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Kansas caused death and terrible damage and disrupted thousands of lives. Our hearts go out to the victims of the great devastation. Already we know of 500 million dollars in property damage around Oklahoma City according to the Southwest Insurance Information Institute. And the damage is far more widespread than that coving parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Tennessee. More than 12,000 cars have become twisted wrecks and several thousand homes have been damaged or destroyed. Some suggest that there will be more than one billion dollars in damages when the effects of these tornadoes—some in excess of 300 miles per hour—is fully known. But, do we understand WHY such tragedies happen? Can we learn something from the suffering and the pain they cause? Should we blame God or Satan or random chance?

The recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Kansas caused death and terrible damage and disrupted thousands of lives. Our hearts go out to the victims of the great devastation. Already we know of 500 million dollars in property damage around Oklahoma City according to the Southwest Insurance Information Institute. And the damage is far more widespread than that coving parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Tennessee. More than 12,000 cars have become twisted wrecks and several thousand homes have been damaged or destroyed. Some suggest that there will be more than one billion dollars in damages when the effects of these tornadoes—some in excess of 300 miles per hour—is fully known.

But, do we understand WHY such tragedies happen? Can we learn something from the suffering and the pain they cause? Should we blame God or Satan or random chance? Certainly God is NOT always the cause of drastic weather patterns or natural disasters. The Bible itself tells us in Job 1:12, 19, that God sometimes allows Satan to control the weather. But, Scripture shows itself that God does at times intervene in the weather—either to bless or to curse certain nations.

In Amos 4:9, God says to the Israelites who had turned from Him: "I BLASTED you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, your vineyards, your fig trees, and your olive trees, the locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to Me," When we see the example of ancient Israel's disobedience, we should be SHAKEN to the very core of our beings. For our society's SINS are loathsome. If God would should His displeasure at ancient Israel's disobedience, HOW MUCH MORE must He be disgusted at the rampant abortion, adultery, perversion, lying, cheating and stealing that permeates our modern society and are an abomination to a JUST God.

But, does God intervene because He hates us? NO! Not at all! Just the opposite is true. We read in Hebrews 12:6: "For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." God LOVES us. He wants us to wake up. If only we will HEED His warnings, we may be spared far greater suffering in the future. We grieve with the families of the nearly 50 people known dead from the recent tornadoes, and the nearly 900 known injured. Were they personally guilty? Being punished by God for their sins? We are NOT saying that! We are ALL sinners and partakers in a sin-sick society.

Revelation 20 describes a time when all those who have died without knowing God and His true purpose—His true Gospel—will be given a genuine chance to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him. God wishes that NONE shall perish. Those who died in last week's tornadoes will have seen man's world at it's worst, and we will be quick to accept God's salvation when they are given a fair chance. Their families can take comfort in knowing that God will treat them with love and justice.

Jesus Christ offered the admonition in Luke 21:36: "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

If we do not watch and we do not HEED God's warnings—striving to make ourselves worthy of escape—we will experience these disasters more, and more, and MORE! God's interventions will only increase as we approach the END of this age. We read in Luke 21:11: "And there will be GREAT earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be FEARFUL SIGHTS and great signs from heaven." This time from Jesus Christ.

We know that natural disasters are increasing. Geological survey statistics show more earthquakes every single year. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, recorded more than twice as many tornadoes in 1998 as in 1996, and nearly FIVE TIMES as many tornado deaths. And last week's tornadoes insure that 1999 will be worse still!

God tells us in Malachi 3:6, "For I am the LORD, I do not change." God wants us to change, to obey Him and to learn to love and obey His commandments. If we do so, we will be spared the suffering to come and receive blessings beyond measure in tomorrow's world!

This is Roderick Meredith for Tomorrow's World.