Saturday, March 12, 2011

God Caused the Earthquake In Japan

"Is a trumpet blown in a city and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?" (Amos 3:6, ESV)

As my heart and prayers go out to the Japanese, do not forget that God is sovereign and working out his plan perfectly, Amos 3:6, do not attribute disaster to bad luck or nature but take note God is at work in sovereign wisdom and men should act and react accordingly to his judgment. May this working of God remind us of God and His power creating awe, submission, and repentance.

Many times in order to prevent misunderstanding God revealed to prophets his own view of various events or disasters. At times God chose to reveal his purposes and even actions so that those events or disasters could be interpreted correctly.

God has a plan and a purpose in the earthquake that took place in Japan and for all those which take place around the world. God does not always choose to reveal his secret plan or purpose but be assured these events are not random or merely caused by "actions in nature." God will use various means to work out his eternal purpose. Our responsibility is recognize the power of God and submit to him.

A Prayer by John Piper in Response to This Disaster

The power of moving water is greater than most of us can imagine.
 Nothing stands before it. We are driven to our knees:
Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel how fragile the very ground is beneath our knees.
O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment—in the twinkling of an eye—we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh. We have bodies and homes and cars and family and precious places. We know that if we were treated according to our sins, who could stand? All of it would be gone in a moment. So in this dark hour we turn against our sins, not against you.
And we cry for mercy for Japan. Mercy, Father. Not for what they or we deserve. But mercy.
Have you not encouraged us in this? Have we not heard a hundred times in your Word the riches of your kindness, forbearance, and patience? Do you not a thousand times withhold your judgments, leading your rebellious world toward repentance? Yes, Lord. For your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts.
Grant, O God, that the wicked will forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Grant us, your sinful creatures, to return to you, that you may have compassion. For surely you will abundantly pardon. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus, your beloved Son, will be saved.
May every heart-breaking loss—millions upon millions of losses—be healed by the wounded hands of the risen Christ. You are not unacquainted with your creatures' pain. You did not spare your own Son, but gave him up for us all.
In Jesus you tasted loss. In Jesus you shared the overwhelming flood of our sorrows and suffering. In Jesus you are a sympathetic Priest in the midst of our pain.
Deal tenderly now, Father, with this fragile people. Woo them. Win them. Save them.
And may the floods they so much dread make blessings break upon their head.
O let them not judge you with feeble sense, but trust you for your grace. And so behind this providence, soon find a smiling face.
In Jesus’ merciful name, Amen.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

I am appalled at all the disasters that has happened lately. What confuses me is how can people say pray for those in Japan and New Zealand and others say God caused all this suffering in the world.
We all have to suffer the bad to apreciate the good in life but not to this extent surely.

Have a good week-end.

Scott said...

Just because we see God's sovereign hand at work in all tings, does not negate the need to pray for those enduring the results. God brought judgment to Israel, but still required His people to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The two are not mutually exclusive. The truth is, if God is truly sovereign, then all things are under His control, even the things we'd rather not endure. Yet we are still to pray, seeking to have our hearts molded to His, to learn from Him and continue to seek His will. Not saying it's easy, but it's truth. Thanks, Gregg for the reminder and for posting Pastor Piper's prayer.

Kansas Bob said...

Hmmm.. causes me to remember this verse..

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. -James 1:17

In my thinking God permitting bad things is not the same thing as God causing bad things.

Persis said...

Thanks for posting John Piper's prayer. Praying for the spread of the gospel and salvation for many in Japan.

Penned Pebbles said...

We live in a fallen world. God want better than a fallen world too. Why He does what He does or allows what He allows baffles me a lot, to be honest. But, and it's a big BUT, God knows better! He is just, loving, fair, almighty, unchanging, powerful and so much more... and that, and it's a big THAT, gives me hope and reassurance like nothing else ever could! Beautiful prayer too! Thank you!

Pat Donovan said...

I was just telling my wife yesterday, why is there know one who will say to the world, BEHOLD THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE HAND OF GOD.
Is it fear of being mocked by the news media, or just fear in general

rodco said...

Why do you people not understand, seek not God in the face of a storm, nor in an earthquake? But in the hearts of those who give aid to them who are caught in their time of need and hope. Anyone who believes that he caused this calamity is a fool For he so loves the world not just a portion of it and we must show are love for our neighbors in this same way.

Gregg said...

@ rodco - The power of God displayed in an earthquake, thunder, volcano eruption, et. cetera, causes us to seek God and to see His power. As we see that glorious, magnificent, and frightening display of power we are reminded that God's sovereign power is even greater. God is seen in these powerful displays. Of course the foundational reason I see God in a calamity is simply because He said He does these things and that they don't happen apart from Him, Amos 3:6.

As far as seeing the need and having compassion and rushing to aid these victims, I too see God in that and helping is our only response. Agreed, we display the love of God as we share both the gospel and aid with these victims of God's sovereign display of His power. The ultimate lesson however, is to seek God as He reminds us in these displays of His glorious and sovereign power. If we fail to seek God and learn from God during these times and we simply give aid, we are only putting a band aid on a hemorrhage. We can aid them straight into hell. Look very carefully at the account in Luke 13:1-5! The lesson or the point of the story was not love, aid, help, et. cetera, the lesson was look at the deaths that resulted in the fall of the tower and learn that you too will die and to repent unless you perish apart from Christ. The lesson from the Japanese earthquake is not so much in love, aid, and support, but look to the dead and you too will die, therefore repent before it is too late and you perish apart from Christ.

This is not an either or situation. We look to God who sovereignly claims responsibility for calamities which reminds us his power, which causes us to seek God and His greatness while we are rendering aid and demonstrating love.