Haiti- Why do Disasters Happen?

Be sure to check out this excellent post by Kevin Jackson [link] that deals with the earthquake in Haiti and disasters in general in a very level-headed and Biblical way.  It is a breath of fresh air compared to the usual unguarded statements made by many popular Christian teachers in response to such events.

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3 Responses

  1. I agree with the overall premise of the article, and am also saddened than this kind of discussion will never make the news. Only the sensational, shocking, psycho-right wing christian views ever dominate the headlines.

    I disagree, however, that God didn’t punish without instruction. I think physical prosperity and/or punishment was rooted in the Old Testament law and covenants with Israel, so much so that God could say in Amos 4:

    “But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities
    And lack of bread in all your places,
    Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
    7″Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you
    While there were still three months until harvest
    Then I would send rain on one city
    And on another city I would not send rain;
    One part would be rained on,
    While the part not rained on would dry up.
    8″So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water,
    But would not be satisfied;
    Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.”

    It seems like God expected poor physical events in the Old Testament to be a signal of sorts to His people. Not that they needed Amos’ explanation, but that God expected those events alone would be enough to bring them back to Him.

    This is different from the covenant God has with us today. Rather than physical prosperity with physical punishment, we have much greater spiritual blessings in Christ. Yet I feel the universal lessons that should have been learned under the Old Law by Israel should be learned by us today as well.

    When disaster strikes, it causes reflection on who we are, and where we are going. That is why God says in Ecclesiastes 7:2 –

    “It is better to go to a house of mourning
    Than to go to a house of feasting,
    Because that is the end of every man,
    And the living takes it to heart.”

    Whether or not God causes an event specifically or not is irrelevant – the lesson to be learned is the same. To fear God and keep His commandments, and recognize the vanity of the circular events of this life.

  2. Good article.

    Steven, you could add Haggai who explained that there lack of crops were because they had failed to adequately build God’s house before decking their own with finery.

    An additional factor is that earthquakes are in the post-Fall world, and probably the post-Flood world. Given that the Flood was a punishment for extreme-wickedness, we are still living with such consequences of previous human rebellion.

  3. Thanks for the link back Ben.

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