What should faithful people make of natural disasters — floods, tornadoes, heat deaths, etc.?
Some people have said God causes natural disasters as a form of punishment, as a Christian I am careful about making these kinds of judgments. I certainly believe in a Creator, who might be responsible at times and Who has the ability to cause such events but I also believe in “natural evil”. Natural evil is a partial explanation for why bad things like natural disasters happen.
Natural disasters are a result of what the Bible calls sin. When sin first took place with Adam and Eve, every aspect of the natural world was affected.
The Bible says in Romans 8:22 “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time”, NIV.
This is the impact of sin on the world we live in, because of sin creation no longer operates as designed.
There is another form of evil, “moral evil”. Moral evil occurs when a person does an action that we know is wrong, murder, lying and stealing are some examples of moral evil, sometimes times disasters are caused by our choices. An example of this might be the Gulf of Mexico oil rig that spilled hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf. It is believed that negligence was a real possibility as a cause, if so, whoever was in charge of the safety practices would have the cause, making this not a natural evil but a moral one. Either way, we live in a world where evil exists.
As a Christian I believe we are all personally responsible for our own choices and actions. And while natural disasters occur I don’t blame God for them and I believe that God will reveal His sovereign control and make all things right in this world.
Psalm 119:91 “Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you”, NIV.