Have you noticed when there is a disaster in our world, there are those who speak out and talk about the judgement of God? They project all kinds of guilt on people.
We need to be very careful in how we respond to this. What right do we have to say that these floods are God’s judgement? Consider the person killed in a car accident, or a couple unable to have children? Would you consider them the recipients of God’s judgements because something bad has happened to them? Is all human suffering the manifestation of divine judgement? I think we would be better served not to jump to such conclusions, as if we know the full counsel of God on these matters.
Jesus referred to a couple of tragedies (see Luke 13:1-5). Pilate killed some Galileans and mixed their blood with sacrifices. This could be described as being ‘human’ evil. Another tragedy was when the Tower of Siloam collapsed and killed eighteen people. This could be described as being a ‘natural’ tragedy or evil. While Jesus never said why these ‘evils’ happened, He did ask, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
There can be no doubt from the words of Christ that when human suffering strikes it doesn’t necessarily mean those who are suffering are evil or sinful any more or less than the rest of us. Jesus doesn’t say that these people are ‘under the judgment of God’ either. If he didn’t, why are we so quick to?
We need to remind ourselves that the result of living in a broken fallen world is human suffering and, as God’s word says, we will endure suffering and calamities. Like Job, we can trust in a God whose actions always reflect His eternal perspective and character. It would bode us well to live our lives from this same perspective.
Right now it would be good for us to pray for and help in practical ways those affected by these horrific floods. Can I encourage you to give to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Appeal or to your local church who can assist their sister churches affected by the floods?
Church planting and growth has been a focus for most of my ministry. I frequently lecture and speak on church planting and have been actively involved in many church plants. Under God's hand and direction, my wife, Kaye, and I planted the