God can, and has, used natural disasters to punish wickedness. Sometimes natural disasters are God’s means of reminding the world of His righteousness, justice, and sovereignty. Other times, God’s will is that people seek refuge from calamity by returning to Him in repentance and righteousness. But lest we be tempted to believe that God allows disaster to come upon those who are most deserving, recall the words of Jesus in Luke chapter 13.
Jesus challenged this assumption when He asked in Luke 13:4–5, “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Just because disaster strikes some, does not mean that they were more deserving of it than others. Instead, disaster can befall anyone who is in rebellion to God, regardless of whether there are others who may be more wicked. Such disaster should serve as a warning signal to all of us that we do not know what tomorrow brings, so we best be certain, today, that we are right with God (James 4:14).
This article is excerpted from the paper “Does God Use Natural Disasters to Judge People and Nations?“
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