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Entries in Haitian Earthquake (1)

Friday
Feb052010

Andrew's Thoughts On The Haitian Earthquake

A number of people have asked me to comment on the Haitian earthquakes. Our local Sunday paper even had a collection of comments from local pastors about why all of this happened. Their responses ranged from "God did it" to "Satan did it" to "who knows who did it."
 
There appears to be a lack of clear understanding about why things like this happen. This isn't limited to the Haitian earthquakes either. The same thing happened with hurricanes Rita and Katrina and the terrorists attacks of 2001. It also happens on a daily basis with our individual lives. People struggle to understand why bad things happen.
 
Certainly bad things happen on an individual basis because of our poor choices. God gave us the choice between life and death, blessing and cursing (Deuteronomy 30:19). And sadly, the vast majority of people are making choices that give the devil dominion over them (John 10:10). In order to avoid Satan's devices against us, we have to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil (James 4:7).
 
And there are scriptural examples of God bringing judgment on a nationwide scale because of the sins of people. Classic examples of this are Noah's flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
 
BUT...there was a HUGE change in the way God deals with people after Jesus died for our sins. Jesus bore our sins and all of God's wrath against them (John 12:32). And this doesn't only apply to believers. First John 2:2 says Jesus, "is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
 
So, God isn't personally judging nations today for their sins. He judged Jesus for our sins. That doesn't mean that it doesn't matter how we act. It does. When we act in an ungodly manner, it makes us subject to Satan's control (Romans 6:16). The devil wants to devour everyone (1 Peter 5:8) but he can't do anything to us without our consent and co-operation.
 
I'm sure the fact that Haiti's national religion is voodoo is a factor in their poverty and social issues that made the devastating effects of these earthquakes even more severe. But I don't think the devil has the power to cause the earthquake.
 
There are just natural things that happen in a fallen world. And I think the earthquakes in Haiti were just the natural results of tectonic plates rubbing against each other. It was just natural. Those who are submitted to God have supernatural help to deal with life in a fallen world and those who don't have a relationship with the Lord find how limited their natural abilities really are. But this wasn't a direct result of sin or the judgment of God.
 
I could spend a lot of time justifying that statement but let me simply say, if you think this is God's judgment on those people, then you are totally wrong to try and help them. If God is punishing them, get out of the way and let them learn their lesson.
 
Of course, I don't believe anyone would agree with that approach, and that is not what I'm advocating. Therefore, I think it's inconsistent to  see this as an act of God and yet intervene in a way that would thwart God's purposes by giving aid to the Haitians.
 
Blaming God for this tragedy has turned some people against God. I read one account of a woman walking by a pile of burning bodies and she took the Bible out of her purse and threw it in the fire. But God didn't cause this nor allow it. Therefore, it is compassionate to reach out to those who have been hurt (1 John 3:17).
 
When Adam and Eve sinned, they plunged the whole world into sin. This not only includes mankind but the animal creation and the natural world. Animals were originally herbivores but now they are carnivores. Likewise, the original earth was in perfect balance. It didn't rain but there was a mist that went up and watered the whole earth (Genesis 2:5-6). Everything was perfect.
 
But all of that changed when man rebelled at God. Now we live in a fallen world where things aren't perfect. If an animal kills a person, God didn't do it, the animal did. This could be traced back to man's original sin but not always to an individual's sin. Mankind set the animal creation at odds with us. And if a natural disaster happens, we are the ones who set the whole course of nature on fire (James 3:6).
 
Through Jesus, we have been reconciled back to God (2 Corinthians 5:19) and with that comes authority and power. But it's not automatic. We have to believe and exercise our power and authority. I've prayed and seen weather, including hurricanes, change. I've taken authority over animals and I've seen miraculous healings. We aren't just helpless in this fallen world.
 
But it takes knowledge and persistence to grow and develop our God given authority to the point of making a difference on all the ungodliness that has been unleashed in this world. Jesus exercised His dominion over the forces of nature (Mark 4:39) and so can we (John 14:12).
 
Although I support helping those who have been devastated by the Haitian earthquakes, (Jamie and I have personally given to their aid), I am constantly moved by the devastation I see in people's lives daily. It amazes me that when people can see with their eyes the physical effects a natural disaster causes, they respond generously. But the devastating effects of sin and ignorance are all around us daily. I'm moved just as much to help those who are struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one or trying to figure out why they haven't seen their prayers answered.
 
We all pray the Lord will comfort those who have been left homeless and lost loved ones in Haiti. We pray those who don't know the Lord will turn to Him in this time of crisis and find Him to be their source of strength. I also pray the Lord will help us to see that everyone who doesn't know the Lord is hurting just as much as those who have been affected by the Haitian earthquakes. They may not realize their need as much as those in Haiti, and therein lies the problem. God make us all vessels to represent You to a lost world.
 
Andrew Wommack