Hurricane Patricia is barreling toward the Mexican coast as I write this. Does this mean that the citizens of Mexico that will be affected by the storm are particularly wicked and that God is punishing them for their wickedness? God can use nature to punish the wicked, but does this mean that every time we have a natural disaster that He is doing so? I don’t think so.
We know that natural disasters are usually caused by the forces that shape and control our planet and I don’t think God’s hand is in every one of them. Can He control the elements and use them to punish people? Absolutely. Think of the ten plagues He afflicted the Egyptians with (Exodus 7-12) and the fact that Jesus was able to calm the storm when He was with His disciples in a boat (Mark 4:36-39). We know that God created everything so of course is able to bend everything to His will.
Does this mean that He uses the weather to punish people today? He might, but what we should consider is that we really have no way of knowing if He is doing so since He does not reveal it to us, so we should not speculate that He is punishing countries or populations when any type of disaster strikes, natural or otherwise. We can only say: perhaps He is doing such and such.
We do know that God is in control of the fate of Nations (actually Jesus has all authority at this time) and that their wicked ways can and will lead to their destruction. There are countless examples of this in the old testament. This should make us seek to live a God-fearing life and to persuade others to do the same.Perhaps we may even lament of the wickedness of our own country and anticipate its collapse under the weight of such wickedness and God’s judgement.
Still, we should not carry this so far as to make specific predictions like the so-called interpreters of prophecy or the modern-day prophets may seek to do. Such things have been done away with under the new covenant (1 Corinthians 13:8) and to pretend to know the mind of God is at best misguided and at worst a grievous sin by those who attempt to mislead others for their own gain
So, I mention Titus 2:12 again, which says: “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” This is all we can do as we see the wickedness seem to grow around us. We should not despair over much about the future or pronounce God’s judgment when disasters happen because we do not know what the future may bring. It is all in God’s hands: what He allows to happen and what He brings about by HIs own hand.
We are told to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness and leave the rest in His hands (Mark 6:31-33). He will look after us. Concerning His specific actions in the world today we can only know that what ever happens God’s will is done and we should not listen to those who pretend to know what is going to happen, nor involve ourselves over much is speculating about it.
We know that we will all die unless the Lord comes first and after this comes the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). We should concern ourselves with living the godly life and attempting to convince others to do the same and let the chips fall where they may. Of course we should vote and fulfill whatever other civic duty we have (this means we should stay informed through news media, etc.), but, other than that, leave it in God’s hands. We could make ourselves sick with worry about such things and still be powerless to change them. God would not want that (Luke 12:22-31).
May God bless and keep you until next time.