Japan, Judgment and Natural Disasters

Whenever there is a disaster, There are a variety of responses from the Christian community. I admit that I am one of those who is reluctant to jump up and shout, “This […] is a judgment from God on […] as though it were a personal vendetta. Unless God tells me in a specific situation that it was His intention to so do, and that He wants and expects me to pass that message along, I don’t. Which in this case, He hasn’t. Aslan only tells me my story.

“His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus’ reply turned the disciples’ world upside down: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
John 9:2-3

There are two main messages in this incident. The first is that we should not presume that we know the mind of God in any given situation unless revelation indicates otherwise. The other message is that if we ask God why in these situations, He may very well tell us the answer if it will serve His purposes.

Luke 13:1-5 “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Do you suppose that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, No: but, unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, do you think that they were sinners above all men that lived in Jerusalem? I tell you, No: but, unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.”

Jesus says here that not all calamities are personal judgment from God. He then adds that since all men and women are sinners, there is a judgment coming on those who do not repent. As my daughter, “Undone: Stepping into Simplicity”, said, “Why would God single out Japan for harsh judgment more than anyone else?”

The story of Job tells of an individual who suffered from one hideous catastrophe to another until he had lost everything and everyone he loved except for his wife. His “friends” insisted that Job must have committed some horrible sin for God to punish him so severely. They were so wrong. God never did tell Job the why; He just showed Job that unless he could understand the mind of God, he had no business even asking why.

In Romans 8, Paul speaks of the fact that all of creation continues to to suffer due to the corruption of sin working in the world. I understand that these “natural disasters” are the result of this corruption. God may certainly use them in whatever way He will. In the absence of any other indication, I believe it is an opportunity for me to pray, a reminder for me to  “examine myself” so that my life is right with God. Second, I should be praying for God’s mercy and grace on the survivors of a catastrophe, that they might experience God’s loving kindness, and find life and peace in Jesus.

“Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” Romans 2:4b (emphasis mine) 

So, what is your response to natural disasters? Other views than mine are welcome as long as they are stated respectfully. 

The idea for this blog post was sparked at ILJ Boards


About Susan P

Reader, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, traveler...
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6 Responses to Japan, Judgment and Natural Disasters

  1. I have seen various different blogs about this. Some almost delight in what happened. I may sound less than "spiritual" here but I honestly don't think about such things. i figure when it is time, it will be the time. Not even jesus knew so how can I? If it God trying to get our attention, then we need to listen no matter what. Good thoughts Susan.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Luke 13:4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. I may have more verses in the immediate future.Our attitude is to damn but God's attitude is to restore when possible:Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Chuckt

  3. Rehoboth says:

    Kevin and Charlotte, thank you for taking time to stop by and read the blog. You both have a gift of encouragement.

  4. Rehoboth says:

    Bill, Thanks for coming by again. I appreciate you giving your perspective. You make a good point there.

  5. Rehoboth says:

    Chuck, it was a nice surprise to have you come by with a comment and some support. God bless you, brother.

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