God and Natural Disasters

For the benefit of those whose faith has been weakened by liberal theologians failing to offer any clear reason why God would permit natural disasters, the following is what the Bible really teaches:

Contrary to the impression given, human suffering is actually one of the main topics in the Bible, giving clear teaching on why bad things happen, how we are to respond to events and God’s attitude towards them etc.

The Bible warns that disasters occur because the natural laws created by God for this age have been ‘corrupted’ and are in a ‘fallen state.’ The laws by which nature operates, were created good but the corporate nature of human sin effected what God created so that they no longer work as He intended. The result is that during this age eg, we have human bodies susceptible to diseases such as cancer, a weather system which gives some parts of the planet too much rain and other parts none at all, areas which get earthquakes and so on.

Whether an individual is good or bad has no bearing on how they are affected by these natural laws. Ecclesiastes 9:2 states that ‘this is an evil thing that similar events occur to the righteous and wicked alike’ and is contrary to the will of God. Romans 8:20 onwards promises that these natural laws will be restored to their perfect state when this present age has run its course. Isaiah 11 describes what the world will be like after this “the wolf will lie down with the lamb, the lion will eat straw like an ox and nothing will hurt or destroy in all the earth.”

In this age, events often occur contrary to the will of God so Scripture repeatedly reassures us that God will redress all wrongs in eternity. Reminding us that not one sparrow is unloved, it addresses those who suffer unjustly by promising “not a hair of your head will be lost, I will repay says the Lord.” In the parable of the Rich Man and the Beggar in Luke 16 the rich man is addressed with these words “son in your lifetime good things happened to you, and likewise in his life bad things happened to the beggar. Now he is being repaid and comforted.” When we see suffering we need to view it from the ‘eternal perspective’ namely that in eternity God will repay down to the tiniest detail.