This hurricane season has been pretty brutal. Hurricane Harvey tumbled onto the shores of Houston with flooding, damage and homelessness in its wake. Monster Hurricane Irma barreled across the Caribbean and on into the southeastern American States–behind her a trail of devastation and destruction. There was an 8.3 earthquake off the coast of Mexico. Some people wonder if these are judgments from God. Others suggest that it is God flexing his muscles. The Bible suggests otherwise. Here are three biblical concepts that clarify these phenomena.
Not God’s voice
“And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
1 Kings 19:11-13, New Living Translation
There is a powerful display of the elements, but God isn’t in any of it. Finally, God shows up. His presence is contrary to the mighty elements; it is gentle (I encourage you to read the context for yourself). This is in keeping with the God that calmed the wind and waves on the sea of Galilee. The same God that produces the fruit of the spirit gentleness in us. Look for God in the stillness that’s where you’ll find him.
Not God’s style
“See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a driving wind swirling down on the heads of the wicked.”
Jeremiah 30:23, New International Version
There are times recorded in the Bible where God rains down punishment in the form of natural disasters. Several stories come to mind. There were the ten Plagues of Eygpt. That time when Jonah tried to run away from his mission from God . There was even that time when God sent a drought to the Kingdom of Israel. However, there is one thing you’ll notice about these stories. God is communicative. He is explicit about why he is sending the disaster and how to bring it to an end or escape it altogether. Furthermore, God is eager to revoke His planned disaster when the people in question cease and desist from heading down their path of destruction. The story of Nineveh is a good example.
For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
Romans 8:22, New Living Translation
What should we make of these natural disasters? Jesus warns us that there will be an increase in natural disasters as his coming approaches. The earth is weary from the experiment with evil that Adam and Eve imposed on it. We can hear it creak and groan, but this is not the end the worst is yet to come.
Don’t look for God in a hurricane. You might not find him. Don’t let a hurricane scare you into a relationship with God. Fear isn’t a good foundation for any relationship. However, do let God’s goodness lead you to repentance and don’t wait until the end to build a relationship with Jesus.
“For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.”
Do you need to make a decision for Jesus today?