National disasters : Judgment?

The question comes up time and again about God’s judgment of nations whenever there is a natural disaster : does God judge nations or people groups for their gross wickedness?

God appears to have done so in the Old Covenant times. My friend Carol gave a very good point when she said that was all about God protecting His chosen people—the nation called Israel.

But now it’s different. Those who are Christ’s from every nation have a New Covenant for the people of God whether Jew of Gentile and there is no correlation now with the nations identified in the Old Testament story.

Terrible things continue to happen in this world. And the number of terrible things we experience or read/hear about almost daily seem to be increasing. A few days ago Vanuatu has just been devastated by the worst kind of cyclone leaving tens of thousands homeless and crops ruined. Did they deserve it more than Brisbane and the Gold Coast? Of course not.

After Tornado Katrina hit New Orleans, USA, there were those who proclaimed this was God’s judgment on the wickedness in that locality. Yet Bourbon St –where bars, clubs, and brothels abound and where “the party never stops” was left untouched. Does the Almighty need a lesson in where to aim His wrath? Of course not.

No. If there is such a thing as God judging a people group the question can only be answered by a specific word from the Lord and not from the mouth of self-proclaimed prophets.

We do read of judgment in the Old Testament scriptures, but an announcement from God always preceded the awful events.

So we turn to Jesus for the answer—as we always must do! And he was asked about such a situation recorded in Luke 13: “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.”

2 responses to “National disasters : Judgment?

  1. jill Montgomery

    HI Ian
    Have you read the book the Harbinger, by a Jewish Christian whose surname is Cahn. If so I would love your comment.
    The author infers because the US was initially dedicated to the Lord and has now turned from God, so to speak, that God is trying to warn them of their future by removing His protection for them hence, the 9/11 attack!
    Many blessings
    jill

    • Thanks Jill for the question. I understand Jonathan Cahn’s book, “The Harbinger” contains gross errors. I cannot subscribe to his sentiments about USA having responsibility as a nation towards Israel as if current Israel is God’s chosen people and as if America is specially favoured by God. ALL people need to be saved and come into Christ, and one day “All Israel will be saved” as Paul said.

      Jonathan Cahn believes he has discovered an “ancient mystery” in Isaiah 9:10 that “explains everything from 9/11 to the collapse of the global economy.” How he can do this is anyone’s guess but his book is a best-seller into the millions. In context, Isaiah 9:9ff is about how God will bring terrible judgment on Israel—awful, horrible calamities. Just read it—no mystery at all!

      For a balanced scholarly treatment of this book read David James at http://www.biblicalintegrity.org/2012/04/26/harbinger-fact-fiction/

      I would be one who argues that what we see today as Israel is not what God was referring to in Isaiah. Certainly, we do need to ‘bless those of Abraham’s seed’ but Christians must do this in terms of the New Covenant just as Paul shows us in Galatians 3, verses 6 to 9 and then through to verse 18.

      We are all joined to Christ, hidden in him, the true seed of Abraham, in the New Covenant he has made with the Father—‘this is the New Covenant in my blood’. Many believers still cling to Old Covenant thinking. But Christians are called to think in New Covenant terms. Everything has changed with Jesus’ sacrifice for us all, Jew and gentile. You cannot mix the two covenants. The Old Covenant is obsolete. All must repent and believe in the Jesus as Lord, be born anew and receive the Holy Spirit.
      The New Covenant is not a revision of the old. It is not an amendment. It is not an addition. It is the NEW covenant. It is radically different. God now deals with us in a totally different way since the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is so important. And yet this is not understood and practiced by the great majority of people professing to be Christian.

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