Of God and the Tsunami (2)

When I last blogged on this, I wanted to emphasize the pragmatic aspects, as well as steer away from the arrogance of second guessing God and pointing hypocritically judgemental fingers at easy targets. In doing that, it is not completely accurate a picture to imply that disasters are without the hand of God. I simply believe that too much of what we call acts of God are misnomered. All to the effect of discounting our own accountability.

One point I made was that the answer of Jesus to the comments upon a disaster of that time, the fall of the Siloam tower, and the lessons in the book of Jonah, contain the sum of the view on judgements. I’d like to say a few more things on that.

In the answer of Jesus, He did not deny that there was an aspect of judgment in the disaster. And as Paul gives teaching on,later, “1 Timothy:24 Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. 25 Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.” But the Lord clearly refocused on the fact that all men are under the condemnation of death, and that all sins committed will require an answer of justice, or pardon of mercy. ” I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

I think we should concentrate upon the issues that may be presumed with good reason, and not those that are conjecture conceived within our own temptation to elevate ourselves, to the end that we would pass hasty judgements of own. We are not given that prerogative.

That is one the main points I wanted to emphasize. The temptation is to usurp a judgement throne with the second guessing of God’s motivations. But it is man’s folly to interpret events in nature as having the full message of God. Two instances giving rise to doubt of that view would be the passages wherein Jesus rebuked the storm, and the revelation to Elijah :

1 Kings 19:11-13

God’s Revelation to Elijah

11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

And what is the place of God’s revelation? In the still small voice of fellowship, in the communication of God’s heart to ours. Even though the earth is in His power to do with as He pleases, His communication with us is personal and exact. In Word, in Logos, He communicates His view and the meaning of the signs and the times.

To what purpose do we mark out our own meanings and interpretation? I make the point that we should beware, and mind our own need to heed God. Lest we likewise….. perish.

This is not for the sake of intimidation or fear, but of keeping the door of our compassions open ” There, but for the grace of God, go I…”. To pay attention to what we may do to give mercy, and compassion, as we would ourselves receive it.

We all feel the need for compassion and mercy in our own times of extremity, when the storms of life have overtaken us and those we love.

This is humanity, and this is the most basic and important message of God through Jesus Christ.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Love, Salvation, do these words mean anything? If they mean something, surely they guide our thoughts to do what we can for those who suffer, and understand that evil events overtake all and make no difference between innocent and guilty, child and old man, …while God, in judgement, will make fine distinction when it is time for that.

In the meantime, do we know what it is we are to do? Do we understand the message to us?