When we experience devastating natural disasters, people often ask, “Why”?
Some blame or give credit to God. Others make political statements, like Jennifer Lawrence who said, “You’re watching these hurricanes now, and it’s really hard … not to feel Mother Nature’s rage or wrath.” There is no such thing as Mother Nature. Nature is a thing, not a person. Nature does not have a mind or will to do anything. The created order does its thing based on numerous variables.
While Harvey and Irma are mega-storms, there have been others. It’s also true of earthquakes and tsunamis.
The 1900 Galveston Hurricane killed 8,000 people and left the city in ruins. There was another one in 1915 that left 400 dead. The Miami Hurricane of 1926 produced the highest sustained wind speed ever recorded in the United States at the time; it led to a storm surge of nearly 15 feet. More than 370 people died and 6,381 were injured. Let’s not forget the Florida Key’s Labor Day hurricane of 1935 that caused 408 deaths.
There’s a record of storms going back more than 400 years, to 1605, before the National Hurricane Centers HURricane DATabases (HURDAT) was developed.
The people affected by these storms live in hurricane areas. They know the risks. Are they more evil than other people? There are parts of the world that never experience such harsh weather conditions. Are they more righteous than those in hurricane alley?
Lawrence has gotten political, claiming that the rise of Donald Trump is the reason for these latest storms. Are we to believe that “Mother Nature” ripped through the Caribbean islands causing untold damage because Donald Trump is the President of the United States? What kind of twisted logic is that? I’m sure they would like someone to explain this sort of Hollywood-entitled logic to them.
What about those who are arguing that hurricanes and earthquakes are end-time prophetic signs based on this passage from Luke 21:24?
“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves.”
In context, this prophecy refers to what was going to take place before the generation to whom Jesus was speaking passed away: “So YOU also, when YOU see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place” (Luke 21:31-32). Every time “this generation” is used in the gospels, it always refers to the generation of Jesus’ day (Matt. 11:16; 12:41, 45; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 8:12 [twice], 8:38; 13:30; Luke 7:31; 11:29, 30, 31, 32, 50, 51, 17:25; 21:32).
As history attests, Jesus was right…