We have had so much one-sided preaching about God that many people think God is a kindly old man upstairs who would not swat a fly.  It is true, of course, that God is a God of love, but He is not a God of love to the exclusion of His other attributes.  The Bible says, “…Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).  God is also “…a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).  His justice requires that sin be punished – every sin!  God says, “…Vengeance is mine; I will repay…” (Romans 12:19).  Peter wrote: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).  God is a God of justice and judgment who no longer lets sin pass unnoticed.  Peter wrote that judgment has already begun!

Paul wrote of ancient times of ignorance saying, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30, 31).  When Christ came the first time He came in love and dealt with sin.  When He comes to earth again He comes as judge, “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Revelation 19:15).  We must, therefore conclude that God is not exclusively a God of love!  He is also a God of justice.  He will punish sin!

Specifically, with regard to natural disasters, the Bible says “…the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet” (Nahum 1:3).  The Psalmist, in an imprecatory prayer against the enemies of God wrote, “So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm” (Psalm 83:15).  For those who believe the Bible, the matter is clearly settled: God controls storms as He does all things.  He owns all things, even the storms.  All things come from His hand.  Ancient Job understood this.  After his great losses he spoke to his wife, saying: “…What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?...” (Job 2:10).  God is not responsible for moral evil, but He does make use of and controls natural evils.  If you want to “blame” anyone for natural disasters, then you must blame God – if you dare such a presumptuous sin!  This is clear also from Amos 3:6 which says, “…shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?”  Whatever natural evils befall a place, whether tornado, earthquake, pestilence, famine, etc., it is God that scheduled it from eternity and it comes in order to accomplish His plan.  God has a plan and is working out every detail of it!  He is in control of all things.  He is sovereign!

God spoke to King Solomon making it clear that the terrible natural events that we fear come from God.  He said, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people” (2 Chronicles 7:13).  Drought, with the hunger, famine, high prices and all the sufferings that accompany it all come from the hand of God as do epidemics. 

The reason for this is that “…God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11).  If you ask the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” you pose a false inquiry.  You should ask the question this way, “Why do bad things happen to wicked people?”  Perhaps an even better question would be this: “Why has not God already destroyed all humanity in the lake of fire?”  I say that would be a better question because, “…There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:10-18).  This is what God says about man.

  The reason people have difficulty in believing that God would be fair in punishing sin is twofold: First, they have been taught a false and one-sided view of God that ignores God’s righteous justice and holiness: And secondly, people do not believe that all men are totally depraved sinners whose “carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7, 8).  The plain fact of the matter is that men think that they are good.  Despite man’s consistent history of war crimes, atrocities, genocides, and all the rest of man’s painful history, people foolishly think that man is basically good.  Not only do they deny the clear evidence of history, they reject the clear teaching of the Bible as to man’s total hereditary depravity. People’s notion of God is not the God of the Bible and their notion of man’s spiritual condition is not that revealed in the Bible.  These are the roots of mankind’s failure to understand why natural evils come upon humanity.

So the Bible explains that it is God who sends physical evils upon morally evil men.  And Jesus said, “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).

Contact: Curtis Pugh, 505 Nanih Waiya Ln., Poteau, OK 74953 Telephone: (918) 649-4064

Authorized by the Grace Bible Baptist Church, Denham Springs, Louisiana.

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