CATASTROPHE AND THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD
…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? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
We are all struck with amazement and fear by the recent earthquake and tsunami that brought such destruction and heartbreak to the people of Japan. So many questions flood our minds when we see events like this strike so suddenly. Inevitably, some will say that Japan deserved this catastrophe because of their non-christian culture, just as they spoke about New Orleans after Katrina. The scriptures speak differently. Jesus pointed out a disaster that had happened in a nearby community to where He was teaching. He clearly stated that Siloam was not worse off than anyone else, all of us are in a fragile state. All of us, if justice was served, lie in peril of losing everything we have. Only by the mercy of God do we stand everyday, in a moment it can all be removed, and someday everything will be removed all across our world. These tragedies are only the initial birth pains, preparing for the main event.
How should I respond when I see such destruction? First, I should remember how fragile our life is, everything we prize in this life can be gone in am instant. The electric power can be gone, the internet can vanish, all communication lost, properties swept away; our lives are extremely fragile. Secondly, I have to remember that I live everyday by the mercies of God. It is only His mercy that keeps our country safe, our lives and nation can be brought low in an instant. Thirdly, I should pray for the people of Japan. In moments like these, people can make eternal decisions, we should pray for awakening to come upon these precious people.
Finally, all of us should be humbled. We stand back in silent amazement at the power in God’s creation. We bow down in reverence, and yes, fear at the coming wrath of God that will shortly be released on all mankind. Just as Jesus said, “just as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be the the days of the Son of Man”. Most of the time we take these events in stride, we continue as if nothing happened. That is a dangerous way to live. The people of Noah’s day did not heed his warning, the results of their bad decision was catastrophic. Today, the doors of the ark are still open, let us run into the open arms of our Lord. That is the only place of safety in these troubled times.