As time goes on, many of us will look back at 2017 and remember it as a year of storms. We have had storms of political division and unrest, storms of tragic events ranging from terrorism to the senseless taking of innocent lives, and we have had literal storms - specifically three major hurricanes that came back to back-to-back and left a wake of devastation, homelessness loss and death. It is the hurricanes, the natural disasters we will focus on today. Are these events a coded message from God? Is God punishing us for our blatant sin or is He telling us to mend our foolish ways? Now, if you don’t believe in God, could these natural disasters be a coded message from “Mother Earth” letting us know that we have messed with her precious and vital ecosystem for too long? Are there lessons here for us to learn?
After witnessing the destruction of our present hurricane season, one of the inevitable conclusions drawn by many well-meaning and sincere Christians is that these things are messages. God IS, by way of magnitude and location of storms, warning us to back off of and away from sinful ways. These sincere and well-meaning Christians will look at current events from specific locations and essentially say that it was no accident that they were hit by such destructive power. My question to these well meaning ones is simple – how do you KNOW that? How do you know for sure?
Just how would you go about deciphering any messages from God sent by way of storms or earthquakes or volcanic eruptions? What would constitute a message and what would constitute a mere event? Is there a pattern that God would use to do such things? The answer is yes. In the Bible we can see where God did use natural events for specific purposes, so the logical thing to do would be to observe when He used these natural events, observe who He used them with and why He used them. Finding the answers to these qualifying factors would give us a reasonable basis to look for a identifying a continued pattern from God with His messages.
One Bible message regarding weather that is loud and clear was spoken by Jesus himself. While teaching us about loving our enemies in Matthew 5, Jesus said that God brings rain down upon the just and the unjust. So, our first message is one of equity – God does not arbitrarily “shut off the faucet” when it comes to those who are out of harmony with Him. Having said that, we also know that he DID one time withhold rain for 3 1/2 years, we know that He did use an earthquake to destroy some evil people, and He did destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with “fire from heaven.” How and why did these specific things happen?
They all happened in conjunction with God’s established patterns for using natural events. What was that pattern? Check out our October 9, 2017 podcast, “Are Natural Disasters Sending Us a Message?” and find out. Follow along with us as we identify the whys and the wherefores of God and His use of natural elements in the Bible. Knowing why He did things then can really help to answer questions about what He is or is not doing now.