Natural Disasters & Calamity

Related Resources: Suffering - Evil - JudgmentProvidence - Disaster Relief

Our world has been under judgment since the Fall, so there is sickness, death and disaster, and no one in this age is exempt. The biblical characters speak openly of calamity; they weep real tears; they rend their garments and pen their lamentations. The Christ of Scripture is a man of sorrows who is acquainted with grief. His road is the Via Dolorosa. But evil will not have the final word for those who are in Christ.

"...the Fall made humans liable to suffer natural evils. God's providential protection was withdrawn from sinners, thereby exposing them to natural harm. It was always a dangerous world, but the Fall made man vulnerable to natural evils ...[Calamity is] judicial insofar as it is related to the curse, dating back to the fall, but it's not necessarily judicial in terms of divine punishment for a recent transgression. It's always grounded in divine judgment on a past event (Adam's sin), and it's sometimes punishment for something more recent (e.g. the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah), but it's not necessarily punitive for something more recent. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. There's the general basis for liability to natural evils (the Fall), and sometimes there's a specific basis in a specific transgression after the Fall." - Steve Hays

Jesus declared that disasters are reminders that we all live in our fallen world, of life's precariousness and ought to cause us all to repent:

"...those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1–5)

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