I've heard so much from radio and television prophets as of late that, "The God of love certainly does not direct nature to perform catastrophic calamities such as floods, earthquakes, famines, etc."
We are so ready to recognize Christ as the ultimate benevolent God, Who does nothing but direct His flock in only a Good Shepherdly way, and would never chasten, or worse, His people, or those who want nothing to do with Him, ie., unbelievers.
Not knowing always when and where God meets out calamity, or exactly for what reasons, it is not hard to see through the Bible, and through history, that the Almighty does, I think reluctantly, because He is a God of love, dole out severe judgment to people and nations.
The Old Testament is full of examples where the Lord would ask the Israelites to wipe out entire nations because of immense wickedness. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and even their animals were sentenced to death for gross sinfulness. It is hard for us to admit, personally, or as a nation, to our own gross sinfulness in the eyes of God. I am sure that those homosexual men who were knocking down Lot's door in Sodom and Gomorrah, did not consider that they had embarked into abominable (as God calls it) sin. At other times, an extremely disobedient Israel would be judged, but then blessed by God, but then judged. . . . . By the time the Romans dealt the death blow to Israel as a nation for hundreds of years, Israel had gone way over the line . . . See The Life Of Christ at LifeofChrist.Com. Where else?
Why, President Obama, the Pentagon, and most Seinfeld fans readily agree that "there's nothing wrong with it." So, in twenty years, more or less, sodomy has matured from something wrong to something honorable in Hollywood, Academia, and even many lib churches. If you google the Oscar winning Black Swan movie, "hot lesbian scenes" will accompany the search results. This is exactly how the warmed-up frog in the pot soon dies from boiling due to the increasing hellish fire which has been slowly bringing the water to boil. Yet, go figure, True Grit went 0-10 at the Oscars, getting snubbed by the Academy for being too wholesome.
Its not that we haven't been warned of God's disdain for, not only sodomy, but adultery, theft, lying, fornication, divorce, murder, and so on, which are more prevalent in 2010 than it they were in 1910 - by far. Historical statistics testify to this.
Haiti suffered a horrific 7.0 earthquake in 2010. I have known plenty of missionaries who worked Haiti, but Santeria (a combination of Catholic and pagan beliefs) and Voodoo had proven too popular among the Haitians. At the time of the earthquake, one Voodoo priest claimed that "there was too much Voodoo on the island," and even today with Christians sending millions of dollars to Haiti, most Voodoo adherents are actually warring against Christianity - one reason why Haiti is having trouble getting rehabilitated. See Voodoo Priestess Complaining That Hatians Are "Turning To God."
Could it just be coincidental that New Orleans was wiped out by an accidental hurricane [not produced by George Bush]? Why New Orleans and not San Francisco? How can you measure the evil of New Orleans Castro District versus the infamous bathhouses and other dens of iniquities of San Francisco? I don't know God's priorities as far as these massive judgements are concerned, and I am thankful for that. When a prophet such as Jonah told Nineveh to repent - they did, and he was angry in thinking his evangelism was for nought. Other areas - such as San Francisco in the early 1900's was reprobate, and no amount of warning was sufficient to deter it from a damnable lifestyle. It was, as they say, "reprobate" or, beyond self-judgment. Interesting, that we have taught our public school children not to judge - themselves or anything they do.
Jesus spoke to the storm and pronounced, "Peace, be still," which immediately silenced the threatening climate. The Old Testament and the New speak of "earth shakings" and "tumultuous seas" prior to judgments. In the book of Joel, the locust is included as part of God's army. Nevertheless, the overriding theme of the Old and especially the New Testaments is that God is a God who wants to save people - from their sins. Now, if folks reject this salvation, there is a price to pay, sometimes in this life, and much worse - in the life to come. Jesus warned his Jewish peers that even Sodom and Gomorrah would receive preferential treatment over those who saw His ministry, yet would still reject Him. This offer of salvation, or receiving Jesus, is still available today.
Glenn Beck, although on a spiritual journey pointed in the right direction, has discounted that God might have something to do with the earthquake and tsunami which has devastated Japan. Although, a very homogeneous, caring people - in a secular humanitarian way - they admittedly have been too secular, having rejected any sense of spirituality which had been traditionally reached through Buddhism (Buddha was not a god, and did not want to be worshiped as a God) and Shinto, both of which gave them at least some inkling of spiritual understanding, however, far and away from the Way, the Truth, and the Life. IOW, they have become as materialistic as communists, thus, incapacitating their appreciation for things eternal. Even the Mayor of Tokyo recently pronounced that the earthquake/tsunami was a form of divine punishment because of Japan's "greed and self interest."
From Isaiah 26, "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." Also, from Isaiah 13, "Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger." If God can command the sea to be still, He must also have power over events which cause the sea and earth to move.
Japan has also legalized prostitution in a form that could only be described as very bizarre. I'll just refrain from describing the indelicate details in this post. Japan so much enjoys its sex industry that many have described that this is the reason for its plummeting birth rate. Japan has one of the longest records for legitimizing abortion - since 1949.
New Zealand, like its British-derived, uber liberal neighbor Australia, has become prosperous, thus producing a materialism, accompanied by the usual trappings such liberalism brings, including feminism and Political Correctness, and, of course, the excesses of the radical Green enviromental movement - worshipping Mother Nature over Father God. One only has to look at the anti-Christ denominational churches which have led the way for the blind to lead the blind into the proverbial ditch. New Zealand had become so advanced, or Progressive, that it legalize prostitution in 2004 without a whimper of objection from the churches, thus turning an affluent country into a neo Bangkok, Thailand. No offense against Thailand in that they are less responsible for not having the Truth in the measure that the Brit empire was bestowed. Watch out, UK!
At least, in the United States we do see stirrings of revival as requested by the salt of the earth. Will God repent of certain judgments of the sword, famine, disease, pestilence, and natural disasters as He has always performed on wicked generations throughout history? He even asks through the prophet Jeremiah, "If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.?"
There is a common mistake in thinking that the New and especially Old Testament God has been a cruel taskmaster because of His chastening and judgements. The fact is that mankind has ALWAYS underestimated mankind's personal sinfulness, thinking that "We (or they) cannot really be that bad and deserve such harsh treatment from a loving God. Seinfeld said, "Not that there's anything wrong with that," but God says, "There's plenty wrong with that."
We all deserve some sort of judgment, but God has provided Someone to become our Scapegoat, if only we will believe in Him. Most people in the U.S. have heard in some way about the life changing power of Jesus Christ. Some mock, some believe, and some just don't care. They will care.
Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC: “No half-smart religious person actually believes the book of Revelation.”
Bill Maher: "Let's face it, God has a huge ego problem."
God: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14