Friday, September 2, 2011

An Act of God? Really?

Woke up to the news that an earthquake hit off the coast of Alaska. Yesterday, a quake shook southern California. A week or so ago one rumbled through Virginia and Washington D.C. I have family in all of those places. My question is: are these random events or is someone out to get us?

In an earlier time, natural disasters were considered the work of the gods—punishment for a lack of appeasement. Even today, insurance forms and other contracts provide a loophole for obligations due to an “act of God.” It would seem some still believe in a God who whacks us with natural forms of destruction.

Of course God is able to make things happen. It’s part of His privilege of being Almighty. But with how the earth works, He doesn’t really have to go to the trouble. Stuff like this happens all the time.

Fault lines are all over the place. Earthquakes result from the plates shifting along these fault lines. They’ve been doing that from day one. Hurricanes happen when a low pressure system in the Atlantic or Gulf becomes rabid and takes on a life of its own. They happen every year. Wars begin when men or nations rise up against the ideals or institutions of others—either to take them away or defend their right to exist.

If God sent the disaster, who’s He going after? Rarely does one person get the brunt of an earthquake’s fury. Hurricanes do widespread damage. Wars affect everyone. There are easier ways to take someone out.

God's actions are intended to help us honor Him as God. Natural disasters make us want to do just the opposite. But they have nothing to do with God’s ability to be God. His power, provisions and purposes remain in effect. Our world may be blown to the next county but the substance of our lives remains. All it takes to praise Him is breath. Got breath? Praise God.

But I’m still curious why there were earthquakes where I have family living. Hope they don’t come to visit.

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