Are Calamities, Catastrophes and Disasters Really Judgments from God
I remember hearing someone curse after which they stubbed their toe on a table, someone blurted out “see God punished you for cursing.” This sort of thinking is more pervasive than you might think. But what is the truth, does God follow behind us with a whip or a rod ready to crack us across the knuckles for every infringement or infraction of his rules?
Thirty five years of Bible reading has convinced me that God is not nit-picky. He doesn’t judge every little infraction we make as we go minute by minute through the day. In fact to believe that he does borders on the insane and comes well within the borders of frivolous nonsense. What is not frivolous is that God will judge an individual, a collective group, a nation or the entire world for behavior that has “passed beyond the mark.” He is marvelously patient but in common vernacular, He ain’t no fool.
You’ve got to ask the question, if man judges, punishes, and corrects his offspring why wouldn’t God? Are we greater than Him? Using the Bible lets take this question to task and that will help us to do a much needed reality check in this area.
In the book of Deuteronomy 28 1-14 there are over a dozen pronouncements of blessings to anyone who chooses to heed God’s commandments and adhere to them faithfully as the live each day. Conversely, there are over fifty verses of curses and calamities for those who decide they are going to ignore His commands and live any way they like, Deuteronomy 28:15f. Things like madness, hemorrhoids and terrors are included in the heap just to name a few.
Any theologian worth his salt knows that the ongoing judgment for sin in this world is a sure thing and it is the very reason there is a thorn on the rose. The only question remaining is which of the disasters and other calamities that befall us are his direct judgments. This is much harder to answer.
I am an evacuee from hurricane Katrina and Rita, was that a judgment from God. I have pondered this question a lot. When I consider the areas hit by the many hurricanes in this country in the last few years I noticed one thing they all had in common. They are all play lands and resort areas in one way or another. The Florida resorts and beaches, the Gulf coast casinos and hotels, the New Orleans French Quarter and the Mexican resort play land of Cancun. Could this have anything to do with it, perhaps?
I don’t think I’m wise enough to know for sure if all that destruction is God’s judgment but I am inclined to think it is. When the tsunami struck the coasts of Indonesia and other Asian countries I pondered the same question. I have become more inclined to see that disaster as Gods judgment only because I discovered a little known fact about that area only a few days after the Tsunami struck. That part of the world has the largest black market children for sale activity in the world. How large, twelve billion dollars a year large. Couple that fact with this verse of scripture fond in Matthew 18:6 and, you be the judge. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
God is not Santa Claus or a doting old grandfather in the sky who sloppily bestows endless benefits and gifts to us while ignoring our injustice and excesses. It may be a bit presumptuous to call every calamity that arises, a judgment of God but it is far more presumptuous to think he will stand idly by while we sin and party ourselves into a stupor.