Such ferocity in nature, leaving at least 340 people dead in the aftermath, has some people wondering if God is responsible for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. What do you think?
Would a God of love wipe out human life, and everything a person has, so indiscriminately and erratically as tornadoes and other natural disasters often do?
Since God is almighty, we know He can prevent anything from happening if He wants. He can also cause anything to happen if that is His will. In fact, some scholars say God's Name Jehovah actually means "He causes to become." When God’s only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, walked the earth with his disciples he demonstrated control over powerful winds not unlike the hurricanes and tornadoes we see today.
Luke 8:23-25 says, “As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’
“When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!” — New Living Translation.
Does the fact that natural disasters can be controlled by Jesus mean God-fearing people should expect Divine protection from tornadoes and other natural disasters? Ecclesiastes 9:11 tell us “time and unpredictable events” befall us all. — God’s Word Translation.
These “unpredictable events” can be anything — from drive-by shootings and automobile accidents to terrorist attacks or natural disasters. No one is immune to being a casualty of “unpredictable events.”
If we are fortunate enough to receive advance warnings, it is wise to heed the counsel of Proverbs 22:3, “Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself, but the inexperienced have passed along and must suffer the penalty.” — New World Translation.
Having been given this precious gift of life, it might be helpful to remember that the situation all humans find themselves in today is not of God’s making. Romans 5:12 tells us, “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” — New King James Version.
Since this “one man,” Adam, chose to rebel against God, where should the blame for all the woes coming upon Adam and Eve’s offspring lie? Didn’t God warn them of the consequences of disobedience? Since He endowed humans with free will, He also allows us to live and learn without interfering with our reaping what we sow.
Tragically, innocent people — including children — suffer because of the choice made by our first parents. So most Christians pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven because we know this is not God’s will for people to suffer or die in natural disasters or in any other way.
God wants us to accept the gift of eternal life offered at Romans 6:23. In Isaiah 32:18, God promised at His appointed time, “My people must dwell in a peaceful abiding place and in residences of full confidence and in undisturbed resting-places.” — New World Translation.
By sending His only-begotten Son to die for our sins, God has provided a means of escaping tornadoes and other natural disasters to “undisturbed resting-places” forever.
At Proverbs 1:33 He promises, “If you listen to me, you will be safe and secure without fear of disaster.” — Contemporary English Version.
How can we listen to God today? In some cases it might be by keeping in mind what Jesus said about a balanced view of material things. He told a crowd of people at Luke 12:15, “Be careful to guard yourselves from every kind of greed. Life is not about having a lot of material possessions.” — God’s Word Translation.
Would a true Christian hesitate to leave material possessions behind when natural disasters strike and lives may be involved? Surely, they will take seriously God’s command at Deuteronomy 6:16: “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test.” — New American Standard Bible.
No one expected the nightmarish death and destruction those horrifying tornadoes brought to one area after another on April 27. But life will go on. Hope will endure. Faith will be firm and love will flourish.
Survivors might thank God for the opportunity to help their neighbors, to simplify their lives and enjoy a hope that offers eternal relief from natural disasters.
As God promised when His Kingdom comes, “For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.” — Psalm 72:12.
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