Old Paths Baptist Ministries

How Could A Merciful
And Loving God
Allow This

Natural Disaster

To Happen?

Job 38:16-18 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?7Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.

May I read to you some excerpts from an article by Robert Kinnett? He is a writer who recently wrote:

In Holland, on April 27, 1421, the sea submerged 72 Dutch counties, killing 100,000 people. On November 1, 1530, sea dikes burst in Holland, submerging much of the country and killing 400,000 people. In 1642 floods in China killed 300,000.

Between 1851 and 1866, the low area between Beijing, Shanghai and Hankow flooded repeatedly during a disastrous 15 years of storms. It is estimated that 40 to 50 million Chinese perished in these floods.

In 1887, spring rains in China caused the Yellow River to overflow, covering 50,000 square miles and killing an estimated 1.5 million people.

In 1970, a cyclone-driven tidal wave overwhelmed the Ganges Delta in what is now Bangladesh, killing somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 people.

In 1976, the year we in the United States were busy celebrating our bicentennial, an earthquake hit Guatemala City, killing 23,000 people on February 4. On May 7 and 8, a quake in northern Italy killed 900. On June 26, a quake in Indonesia killed 9000. On July 28, a quake leveled the city of Tangshan, China, killing 242,000. On August 17, an offshore quake jolted Mindanao, in the Philippines, causing a tsunami that killed over 5000.

Okay, enough. These are just a handful from history's pages. You get the picture.

Or maybe you don't.

"How could a merciful and loving Godů?" Once again the old question springs to the lips of people trying to come to grips with some cataclysmic act of nature.

And even many Christians and Jews, who above all should have some understanding of the implications of being created absolutely free -- and therefore at risk -- in the universe, seem to be speechless or reduced to platitudes by the death and destruction around the Indian Ocean.

Pundits and preachers, the wise and the unwise, try to "explain" what has happened. They see the hand of God or the absence of God; the justice of God or the indifference of God.

Saturday, January 8, 2005 in the Pueblo Chieftain Newspaper one of the religious editorial writers, Marvin Read, attempted to explain the hand of God in the realm of nature and included in his article this statement: Or can it be that God, whatever and whoever that is, doesn't get much involved in affairs natural and human?

These are just a couple of examples of puny man trying to understand God and His creation without an understanding of the word of God. Writers like Dace, Read, Kinnett and others have a difficult time comprehending the works of God because they are without spiritual understanding that can only come from God's word.

See Hebrews 5:10-14

I will agree that sometimes the works of God are beyond our comprehension. However, that is to be understood because God Himself is beyond our complete comprehension.

Let's go back and look at the question posed by Mr. Kinnett in the earlier article, but let's word a little bit differently:

How could a merciful and loving Godů? is the way Mr Kinnet put it.

Why do bad things happen to good people? is another way that mankind has put it over the years.

The ancient scribe Job said it this way:
Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
Job 3:26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Trouble is undoubtedly the lot of mankind, and often times we don't understand why trouble comes.

Mark 6:45-51 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

May I ask you a couple of questions?

Was Jesus God?
Did He know the storm was coming?
Yet He constrained His disciples to get into the boat. He sent them into trouble. Why would the Lord Jesus do this?

Consider the following scriptures.
Psalm 66:10-12 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
Jeremiah 24:5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.

Yes, trouble comes from the hand of God at times. Why would God allow or send trouble to our lives?

Alfred Edersheim said, We cannot understand the meaning of many trials. God does not explain them. To explain a trial would be to destroy it's object - that of calling for simple faith and obedience. If we knew why the LORD sent this or that trial, it would cease to be a trial of faith or obedience.

In Job 1:6-12 we see that Satan stands before God and accuses Job of serving God only because of the blessings of God. God allows Satan to remove those blessings, and, if you read through the Book of Job, you will find that Job never blasphemes God. Job continues to serve the Lord even in the most difficult of times. This episode helps us to see that, sometimes, and I emphasize sometimes, God allows trouble to come into our lives in order for our faithfulness in the midst of these troubles to close the mouth of Satan. When we remain faithful to God in the midst of trouble, Satan is shown to be the liar and false accuser of the brethren. Stay true, Christian, even in difficult times, and God will get glory from your struggles and trials.

If you have never been born again, now is the time to trust the risen Lord Jesus as your Saviour. He waits with open arms to receive you and save your soul. Trust him today before it is too late.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

If you have not yet placed your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour please read "God Loves You"
a short message on how to be Biblically "Born Again."

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