Thursday, September 08, 2005

Do we Deserve Better?

I was watching Fox News earlier and Shepherd Smith was speaking about how amazing the devastation was in New Orleans. He was astonished at how one storm could cause so much damage. Many people view this through the same eyes as him. When we watch the aftermath play out we grieve with these people. We long to help. We stand amazed at the horror, but we must remember that the horror is not at the lives lost or the property destroyed. The true horror in all this is that our world is so fallen that God in His righteousness sends forth such destruction.

Some people, including Christians, are asking themselves where God was in this tragedy. The answer is simple: God was there in the disaster. Nothing happens outside His sovereign control. Every atom is known and structured and created by His hands. This hurricane was created and submissive to the Lord of the universe. Some people cry in horror when they consider that the loving God set forth in Scripture would do such a thing.

To all who read this, we are occupants of a fallen world. This affects every aspect of our lives. Many have wondered if Hurricane Katrina was not an act of God to judge the city as He did Sodom and Gomorrah. If this were true then the hurricane should have destroyed each and every one of us as well. Let us not forget the words of Christ in Luke 13:1-5

“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or 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."

We stand as guilty as anyone that city. The only difference is God still has His hand of mercy on us. To all those who watch the death count rise and wonder what your response should be this tragedy I will happily tell you: Repent lest the same should befall you. The Lord has given us the opportunity to turn from wickedness and so we must. We can send aid and money, but our primary duty is to turn to God and lead others to His infinite mercy. We deserve the destruction Katrina brought, and we must be thankful that compared to the entire world there was so little left to ruin. At every moment of our life God is sending out both His wrath and His grace up the world. Both demonstrations of His character are meant for one end: the complete redemption of His people.

God you are gracious and merciful and we thank you for sparing us and calling us out of our sin. May we lean on your truths in our moments of despair. And may we take the message of your grace to world. Amen.

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