God, Natural Disasters, Adverse Events, and the Last Days

Bushfire in Australia. Tsunami in Indonesia. Earthquakes in India and Puerto Rico. Flash floods in Afghanistan and Korea. US-Iran conflict. Ukrainian plane crash. Storm surge in Tacloban, Leyte. Volcanic eruption in Taal, Batangas, and many more natural disasters where philosophers refer to some of these as “natural evil.” 

Are we in the last days?  

There are times when a natural disaster happens without any warning. But why do these things happen? Did God directly cause earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, bushfires, storm surge, floods, and tropical storms? 

It is impossible to judge the people directly affected by these natural calamities and adverse events because only the Lord knows the heart of each one. Let the people involved be the ones to determine and discern whether it is faith-testing, character disciplining, or a divine judgment. An outsider, who is not directly involved, can never offer a direct answer to why these things happened to a specific people, group or individual. Yet, we can show what the Scripture says regarding the reason behind natural calamities and adverse events. Some passages in the Scripture shows the following: 

First, adverse events and natural calamities at times happen because it serves as a test to deepen one’s faith in God.

And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” – Job 1:8

Second, adverse events and natural calamities at times happen because of men’s direct evil deeds, but not to show that they are more wicked than the others.

Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? – Luke 13:4

Third, adverse events or natural calamities at times are divine judgments of God due to the sins of men globally.

And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” – Genesis 6:13  

Furthermore, many are asking if we are already in the last days since we are currently experiencing different natural disasters in different parts of the world. The last days already began when Jesus came in the flesh and when the Holy Spirit was poured out during the times of the apostles. They have already experienced wars, famines, and possibly earthquakes during their times. The Scripture reveals the following,  

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;'” – Acts 2:17

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. – Hebrews 1:2

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. – Matthew 24:7

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. – Mark 13:8

There will be great earthquakes and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. – Luke 21:11

Finally, we are living in a post-sinful world where the nature of the earth was cursed. Since God gave humans the freedom to submit to His lordship or to rebel against His will, we cannot ascribe to Him the unfortunate things that happen in our lives. 

But despite these unfortunate things, we can hope and trust in God, who is fully sovereign above everything in this world. The Lord sometimes allows these things to happen for His divine purpose. And this will be an opportunity for the believers to pray and share the Gospel and the love of Christ. May we see His invisible hands moving in the lives of those who were directly affected by these adverse events. 

Biblical References:

Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse. – Genesis 3:17

For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. – Romans 8:20-21, GNB

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 1:1-4 

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