NAHUM 1:1-7 (NIV BIBLE):
 An oracle concerning Nineveh: The book of the vision of Nahum the El-ko shite.
 The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; he will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.  He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.  The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.  Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.
LIVING ‘UNDER THE UMBRELLA’ – (verse 7)
 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
AN UNINTENTIONAL DECEPTION –
We live in an age when even the CHURCH has tried to become politically correct.
We have tried to candy coat God into a nice little good God who loves and never hurts anyone. He never gets angry at sin, or judges or condemns anyone–let alone sends them to hell.
In our efforts to sell God to the world we have often sugar-coated the awesome reality of God, then question why people don’t take God in the Bible seriously. In our efforts to bring in proselytes through the hallowed doors of our buildings on Sunday…telling only of God’s LOVE and avoiding His burning HOLINESS and His fearsome WRATH. We have left it in the Old Testament as if God has changed (evolved) over time to a kinder, gentler God, who overlooks our sins and just wants to bless us all.
All of that’s fine and dandy, but CHURCH…we are in for a rude awakening. We can’t keep avoiding the bible passages that speak of God’s WRATH, pretending they don’t exist. If we do, we are spiritually and morally negligent.
THE FACT OF NATURAL DISASTERS (rarely can they be blamed on man directly) –
It is rare for a single generation in a given locale to be spared at least some kind of natural disaster. Without warning, tornadoes sweep down from the afternoon sky and destroy in moments fury what it took decades or centuries to build.
HISTORIC FLOODING FAR FROM OVER…
I was reading the headlines in the paper while in a doctor’s waiting room this past week: Nine deaths have been blamed on flooding in several states across Midwestern and Southern United States this past week. More than 270 roads remain closed across the state of Missouri, with some 200 homes have been impacted by the floods and another 1,500 are in danger (Associated Press).
Do these types of natural disasters represent merely isolated, infrequent events? Hardly.
Throughout history, man has recorded many such tragedies:
- In 526, an EARTHQUAKE hit the country now known as Turkey and left 250,000 dead.
- A similar EARTHQUAKE in China in 1556 killed over 830,000 people.
- In 1889 the famous “Johnstown Flood” occurred in Pennsylvania. Over 2000 people were killed when the South Fork Reservoir dam burst during heavy rains.
Each time natural disasters happen across the world humanity suffers. And each time there are those who ask “Why?” Why them and why now?
The struggle to understand a Good God and the fact of natural disasters is common.
ORIGINAL SIN CURSED THE WORLD (Genesis 3).
MAN’S PERSISTENT UNCONFESSED SIN opens the way for disaster to strike giving Satan a place to establish a STRONGHOLD.
So…MAN’S SIN takes him out of God’s Protection.
AN UMBRELLA can show us something of God’s Protection and to be covered and protected we must walk close. If we walk out from under the UMBRELLA we are no longer protected.
- God is not in every STORM – (He allows them–in that He doesn’t stop them from happening).
- God is in some storms (He causes some).
- Time and Chance happen to all (Ecclesiastes).
We blame a lot of DISASTERS on the devil, but the biblical record shows very few times when he was personally responsible (example Job).
However, very often God says I SENT THIS DISASTER AND HERE’S WHY:
GOD IS ON RECORD –
- Joseph in Genesis 41 (God’s plan to enlarge His people in Egypt) – FAMINE in Egypt–Psalm 105:16 caused by God.
- David’s 2 Samuel 21:1 – Saul’s sons the reason.
- David’s Choice 2 Samuel 24:13 – Because of SIN.
- 1 Kings 18:2 – Elijah-Ahab- Because of Ahab’s SIN.
- Jeremiah 24:8-10: (vs. 10) “And I will send the sword, famine, and pestilence among them until they are consumed from off the land that I gave to them and to their fathers.”
EARTHQUAKES, PLAGUES, AND DISASTERS –
God has POWER & AUTHORITY over the earth, so why does He allow all the destructive storms, plagues, and disasters to occur?
THE ANSWER is found in the first chapters of Genesis. God created everything perfect and beautiful. When Adam and Eve SINNED, He placed a CURSE on the earth and everything became broken and degraded.
Although the CURSE brought about CONFLICT, DISEASE, AND DEATH, much of the original beauty can still be seen in God’s Creation. It continues to show His Power, Wisdom, and Design ability.
But why do Christians suffer? Couldn’t God protect us from the powers of evil?
The ANSWER is YES, He will.
He protected the nation of Israel in Egypt from most of the PLAGUES and could still do the same today.
Some Reasons Why God Allows Natural Disasters…
ONE reason is to make us realize we are totally dependent on Him: Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread” (Mt. 6:11). With all that we have and need, we tend to forget this prayer and God’s ability to answer it. This is a reason why God keeps many of us poor. If we had all we wanted we would become independent and turn from a close relationship with our Father.
To Cause Us to Call Upon God in the Day of Trouble:
Our TROUBLES give God an opportunity to keep His PROMISES, otherwise, we forget we are dependent upon God for everything.
God says, “And call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you shall honor and glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15 AMP).
To Sort Out Our Priorities:
During times of DISASTER, we realize that RELATIONSHIPS are more important than things–especially our Relationship with our heavenly Father and belief in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul said, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).
A Call to Repentance:
DISASTERS serve as a wake-up call to REPENTANCE for mankind. Disasters can have a sobering effect upon the human mind. When WAR breaks out, or an EARTHQUAKE destroys countless lives and property. or a DROUGHT burns the crops and dries up the water supply, or an EPIDEMIC DISEASE victimizes millions of people, many call out to God either in a curse or in prayer.
It was C.S. Lewis who penned “pain is God’s megaphone to a deaf world.”
- It was an earthquake that caused a Philippians Jailer to cry out “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 17:30)
- It was a famine that sent king Ahab searching everywhere for the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:10).
- It was a plague that brought Pharaoh to his knees confessing before Moses: “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now, therefore, forgive my sin, I pray you, only this once, and entreat the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.” (Exodus 10:16, 17)
The manifestation of divine judgment through calamities is intended to summon people to repent.
AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE COMING FINAL JUDGMENT:
God’s final judgment is called the Day Of The Lord in the OT. It reminds us that the Day of the Lord is nearing (Joel 1:15). They are also to remind us that the Judge of all mankind is standing at the door! (James 5:9).
TO SHOW GOD’S POWER TO RESTORE: (All Natural Disasters are Redemptive in Nature)
Our Father wants what is best for us. We don’t know the future. God does and will shape events to bring true the promise:
“All things work together for good to them who love God”
That’s our UMBRELLA folks. Knowing that our heavenly Father will work out for us the best deal in town and we do not need to worry when bad times come.
“EACH TIME GOD SENDS HURRICANES, FLOODS OR OTHER CALAMITIES HE IS SPEAKING TO HIS PEOPLE” by Henry Blackaby.
While not expecting unbelievers to connect anything with God because they don’t think He exists. Blackaby goes on to say he “expects God’s people to be paying attention and for the most part they aren’t.”
GOD IS IN CONTROL OF WORLD EVENTS (ISAIAH 28:2):
NATURAL DISASTERS are a humbling reminder that there is a God:
Isaiah 13:13: “Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; the earth shall be shaken out of its place at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of His fierce anger.” (AMP Bible)
Joel 2:31: “The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and terrible day.” (AMP)
Amos 4:13: “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, whom turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth–the LORD God Almighty is his name.” (NIV)
Is God Judging the Nations Today? YES.
HIS JUDGMENT IS BASED UPON OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!
WHAT’S YOUR CHOICE?
Feel free to add your comments and observations in the REPLY section at the bottom of this page on God’s control of world events whether NATURAL or manmade.
QUOTES BY Henry Blackaby, Founder of Blackaby Ministries and author of Experiencing God.
Photos: Google Advance Image Search.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV), except where noted in the text.