Blog Post

12th March 2023 – Minister’s Letter – God and Disaster, Part 3 

Minister’s Letter – God and Disaster, Part 3 

I’ve been writing about the human element that’s at play in so-called “acts of God”. But while recognising our own contributions, the Bible affirms that God is active in these events too. If God is good, then what kind of goodness is he bringing about through these events?

CS Lewis provides a useful image when he writes “… pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world”. Pain in the human body is unpleasant, but it forms an important purpose in telling us something is wrong. The same is true for natural disasters – like a megaphone they shout that life is precarious and that the reality of death must be addressed.

In Luke 13:4-5, Jesus spoke of a specific disaster in a similar way. “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.” Note Jesus isn’t interested in viewing personal sins as the cause of suffering, but he does use the tragedy to warn the unrepentant that they’re in danger. The perishing he has in mind here is of the eternal type­—it’s sobering to recognise that a fatal accident is a mere warning of what is yet to come.

However, as God warns he also encourages. I’ll write of that encouragement next week.

Martin Kemp