The Cause of Disaster
In the last post, we noted that Scripture points to the human heart as that which is deceitful above all things. It is from our heart that evil thoughts and evil desires come –– and it is in our hearts that our temptations begin.
At the same time –– and this is what this post is about –– Scripture also says something a bit unconventional about disaster and calamity. Just as its source of sin is perhaps surprising, the source of disaster is the same.
Instead of pointing towards the Devil or Satan as the cause of disasters, Scripture gives a very different origin:
“I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.” Isaiah 45:5-7
Did you see the source of calamity?
And yet, it isn’t just one passage in Scripture that advocates this idea. In fact, it is all over––here are three other references that say the same thing:
“Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” Lamentations 3:38
“Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?” Amos 3:6
“For the inhabitants of Maroth wait anxiously for good, because disaster has come down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem.” Micah 1:12
Oftentimes when good things happen in our lives, we give praise to God. But, when bad things happen, our thoughts shift to other sources––and yet Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God is indeed the one who makes “well-being,” and yet he also creates “calamity.” It is from the Most High that both good and bad come.
So then what of the devil? And what of Satan?
Isn’t it Satan who causes natural disasters––because he longs to see chaos and tragedy? Isn’t it the Devil who creates ruin because he takes pleasure in pain?
Perhaps that is what is taught in some churches––but not in Scripture. Instead, God is the source of both good and evil.
So how does this work then? Why would a loving God cause disaster? And then what does that mean about the Devil––is he simply out of a job?
Lord willing, we will consider those questions in the next post.
- Jason Hensley