Woe

  • Rodney Olsen blogs about the devastating tsunami with some real convicting perspective here and here. He includes a heartwrenching account by a father who lost his infant.
  • Yahoo! News has a slideshow illustrating, though only to the degree a camera can, the extent of devastation and pain caused by the tsunami.
  • Lest the reality of such a catastrophe depress you, here’s a biblical perspective of natural disasters from Answers in Genesis (written to address the many hurricaines of 2004, but equally applicable to this destruction):

    Many people call such destructive events of nature “acts of God.” God somehow gets the blame (no wonder some people have developed a resistance to God’s love and salvation), but an understanding of Genesis shows this is not true. Genesis teaches that destructive natural events are in a sense really “acts of man.” The first two chapters of Genesis tell us that God created a perfect world. Back then, there were no hurricanes or other destructive storms.

    So what happened? God gave man (who had free will) one simple rule to obey: not to eat the fruit of one tree in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3 tells how man disobeyed God, and not only brought death to man and all the animals, but also that nature was thrown “out of whack” because of man’s sin.

    Although natural disasters are part of God’s economy today, ultimately, it was mankind that brought the disasters upon ourselves. Thankfully, Genesis 3:15 also gives hope that Jesus will one day redeem mankind and eventually put an end to the Curse.

  • And from another AiG article:
  • The Bible explains the history of suffering.

    Fortunately, God has given us the true account of the history of death, recorded in His Word—the Bible. This historical document connects to real issues of life, and it fully explains why horrible things happen. In fact, God’s Word has much to say on the subject of death and violence.

    ‘Sin and death.’

    This phrase sums up the true history of death, as recorded in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. God originally created a perfect world, described by God as ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31). People and animals ate plants, not other animals (Genesis 1:29–30). There was no violence or pain in this ‘very good’ world.

    But this sinless world was marred by the rebellion of the first man, Adam. His sin brought an intruder into the world—death. God had to judge sin with death, as He warned Adam He would (Genesis 2:17, cf. 3:19). Indeed, God apparently caused the first death in the world—an animal was slain to make clothing for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). As a result of God’s judgment on the world, God has given us a taste of life without Him—a world that is running down—a world full of death and suffering. As Romans 8:22 says, ‘the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs’—because God Himself subjected the creation to futility (v. 20).

    Implications about suffering, if you accept this view of history.

    How can we find a God of love amidst the groaning of this world? By understanding the Genesis account of the Fall, we know that we are looking at a fallen, cursed world.

    From the Bible’s perspective of history, death is an enemy, not an ally. In 1 Corinthians 15:26, the Apostle Paul describes death as the ‘last enemy.’ Death was not a part of God’s original creation, which truly was ‘very good.’

    In contrast to the view that death and suffering have continued for millions of years, this Biblical view of history has a wonderful implication for the future. The world will one day be restored (Acts 3:21) to a state in which, once again, there will be no violence and death. According to Isaiah 11:6–9, wolves and lambs, leopards and goats, lions and calves, and snakes and children, will dwell together peacefully. Clearly, this future state reflects the paradise that was once lost, not some imaginary land that never existed.

    Is God doing anything about death and suffering?

    People who accuse God of sitting back and doing nothing are missing a vital truth. In reality, God has already done everything you would want a loving God to do—and infinitely more!
    The Son of God became a man and endured both suffering and a horrible death on man’s behalf.

    Adam’s sin left mankind in a terrible predicament. Even though our bodies die, we are made in the image of God, and thus we have souls that are immortal. Our conscious being is going to live forever. Unless God intervened, Adam’s sin meant that we would spend an eternity of suffering and separation from Him.

    The only way for us to restore our life with God is if we are able to come to Him with the penalty paid for our sin. Leviticus 17:11 helps us to understand how this can be done. It says, ‘The life of the flesh is in the blood.’ Blood represents life. The New Testament explains that ‘without the shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins]’ (Hebrews 9:22). God makes it clear that, because we are creatures of flesh and blood, the only way to pay the penalty for our sin is if blood is shed to take away our sin.

    In the Garden of Eden, God killed an animal and clothed Adam and Eve as a picture of a covering for our sin. A blood sacrifice was needed because of our sin. The Israelites sacrificed animals over and over again; however, because Adam’s blood does not flow in animals1, animal blood, though it could temporarily cover our sin, could never take it away. (The Hebrew word translated ‘atonement’ is kaphar, which means ‘cover.’)

    The solution was God’s plan to send His Son, the Second Person of the triune Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ, to become a man—a perfect man—to be a sacrifice for sin. In the person of Jesus Christ, our Creator God stepped into history (John 1:1–14) to become a physical descendant of Adam, called ‘the last Adam’ (1 Corinthians 15:45), born of a virgin. Because the Holy Spirit overshadowed His mother (Luke 1:35), He was a perfect man, one without sin—despite having been tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:15)—who thus could shed His blood on a cross for our sin.

    Because mankind’s first representative head—Adam—was responsible for bringing sin and death into the world, the human race can now have a new representative—the ‘last Adam’—who paid the penalty for sin. No sinner could pay for the sins of others, but this last Adam—Jesus Christ—was a perfect man. God in human flesh was able to bear the sins and sorrows of the world.

    The Son of God rose from the grave so that He could provide eternal life for all who believe (John 3:16).

    After Christ’s suffering and death, He rose from the dead, showing he had ultimate power—power over death. He can now give eternal life to anyone who receives it by faith (John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8–9). The Bible teaches us that those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe that God has raised Him from the dead, and receive Him as Lord and Savior, will spend eternity with God (1 Corinthians 15:1–4).

    From a biblical perpsective we learn that this kind of death and destruction is not God’s design. We learn that because of man’s sin, it should be the norm and as for the moments in between, we can consider them drops of mercy from on high.

    3 Responses to “Woe”

    1. Anonymous Says:

      are you crazy? seriously. the god you worship is that hateful? because many people sin, these people are suffering unspeakably? is that how a parent treats his children? why can’t you accept that IF there is a benevolent god, he/she/it can’t be all-powerful … or IF there is an all-powerful god, he/she/it can’t be benevolent. Get over yourself. THese people are suffering because of an earthquake. You’re a madwoman.

    2. Simon Says:

      My sincere apologies for calling you crazy and a madwoman, and for the style of argumentation here. That was totally uncalled for. Please forgive. In being upset about this tragedy, I lost perspective. Again, my apologies.

    3. Elle Says:

      Thanks for the apology. I understand that others will see me as foolish. God promised that would happen. I just consider it part of being a Christian. If you could send an email with you name, that’d be great. I can understand not wanting your email posted.

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