Those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. -Jesus; Luke 13:4-5
6. Unless God is strongly, plainly speaking to you, you are probably not qualified to determine whether or not God is judging a nation.
Don’t go out of your way to pronounce the judgment of God. Let God take care of that. Unless God powerfully speaks to you about the issue, leave it in His hands.
7. We don’t know all the workings and judgment of God.
I heard a story of a tornado that came to a town and blew away the beer joint. The good Christian people quietly acknowledged this as an act of God. The next week a tornado came and blew away the Baptist church.
What is the moral to this story? I don’t know. Maybe just that, sometimes we need to keep our mouths shut for a while.
Certainly we know, according to the Bible, what is right and wrong. But we don’t always know the details of God’s judgment in our present day. “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
8. Sometimes, at least from our perspective, a natural disaster is just a natural disaster.
Build a house in a flood plain, and eventually you will get flooded. Don’t insulate your water pipes, and sooner or later a hard freeze will make you pay. Part of living in this sin torn world is that we suffer crime, disease, natural disaster, death.
9. Is God judging Haiti?
I don’t know that He is. Neither do I know that He isn’t. It is wrong to claim God spoke when He didn’t. It is also wrong to claim God did not speak when He did.
A tragedy happens to someone and they say they think God is judging them. Many preachers and Christians quickly, without thinking or praying, say, “O no, God’s not judging you.” But how do you know God is not judging them, or trying to get their attention?
I have learned in those situations to just wait, be quiet, and hear what the person has to say. For all I know, God may be judging them and they are properly under conviction.
Neither do I say, unless God specially reveals something to me, that they are being judged by God. Tragedy happens to those who are in the center of God’s will. Ever read the Old Testament book of Job? Remember the man born blind? (John 9:1-3). Be cautious about pointing at someone with problems and saying God is judging them. God may next allow the same thing in your life.
But God does still work in our history and in our lives. God does still judge and discipline. God judges individuals and He judges nations.
10. Regardless of the details, we are to help and pray for Haiti.
God so loves the world (John 3:16). We are to go into all the world and share the Gospel and the love of Christ.
I don’t directly know whether God is judging Haiti. I don’t directly know if God was judging New Orleans, Louisiana, or Bolivar and Highlands, Texas with the recent hurricanes. But I do know that God can bring good out of evil. He can bring salvation out of chaos. I know that whether it is Haiti or the United States, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5).
God loves the Haitians every bit as much as He loves us sinful, rotten, unworthy Americans. We are to love them too. Let God worry about judgment. I thank God that Americans are showing their love for the Haitians. America is one of the most generous nations on earth. That is one of the reasons God has blessed our country.
What can we do? What should we do?
* Pray for Haiti.
* Pray that God may be glorified in this tragedy.
One of the best things Southern Baptists do is Disaster Relief. Pray for all the relief workers, but especially pray for our SBC Disaster Relief workers. They not only minister to the hurting, they do so in the name of Jesus Christ.
* Give to the relief efforts. There are a number of worthy relief organizations, but one of the best is SBC Disaster Relief. Give through your Southern Baptist Church with a check designated for “SBC Disaster Relief.” Or, you can go directly to the International Mission Board (imb.org), the North American Mission Board (namb.net), or your state convention and give.
* Keep up with the Disaster Relief workers at Baptist Press (bpnews.net) or through your state paper (texanonline.net). Both are in the right side bar of this blog.
May God bless and bring salvation to Haiti.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 19, AD 2010. Part 2 of 2