I know that many blogs are probably dealing with the sticky question of “Where was God when Katrina came to town?” My guess would be that some are doing a better job with this question than I will here. But, for my own sanity, I am going to work it out right here before your eyes.
I have no doubt that God knew that Hurricane Katrina was coming. I believe in a God that knows everything, so He certainly knew this. Further, I believe that God had the power to stop this disaster, and I believe that He chose not to do so.
I believe whatever God ordains also comes to pass. Look at Amos 3:6. It reads, “If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it?” Granted, Amos’ situation is different than ours. But the statement still has validity. A hurricane hurtling across the ocean cannot escape the notice of God, if He be God at all. And if He is powerful enough to stop such a disaster from overwhelming a city, then the natural question to ask is: “Why?”
The Bible is very clear on the nature of human beings. You can take it or leave it, but you leave it at your peril. It teaches that our “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). If you refuse to believe this, look at what is going on in New Orleans right now. It is as if the veil has been lifted, and we can see clearly into what lurks in the hearts of men. The only thing that restrains people from lawlessness is threat of punishment, lack of ability, and the presence of law.
Further, it teaches that we rebel against God. We wish that we were God. In our vanity, we exalt ourselves, and in our proud we believe that we know better than He. We refuse to see His handiwork in creation, though it speaks of His glory like words on a page. We will not bow to His will nor submit to His commands, even though they are made for our good, His glory, and our joy.
If these things be true, then God is just when He strikes us. If we be rebels against God, and if God is all-good, then it would be shameful for Him not to do so. Justice cries out for a punishment to fit the crime.
If this is true, then if God whipped up wind and wave to crash in on New Orleans, then He is just and right to do so. No one can question Him and succeed in their case against Him. He is altogether good and lovely, even if He should rain death from heaven.
The problem is that not everyone in New Orleans was a reprobate. There were good men and women in New Orleans who lost everything in that flood. Men and women who have had all their sins forgiven. They will never suffer God’s wrath for against sin, for they own Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Yet, they are not above His correction.
The Bible teaches that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). For the Christians of New Orleans, God has promised that even this horror will turn to their good. The Lord Jesus Himself suffered many things, and through His sufferings He was made a perfect sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 2:10). We, through the crucible of our sufferings, will be molded into the greatness which God has prepared for those who love Him.
For those who do not love Him, for those who do not love His only-begotten Son, this tragedy will not be for their good. It will turn out for their bad. God will not work this out in their favor. It will be an end for them. A sad, rebellious end.
Did God send a hurricane to New Orleans because it was particularly evil? I cannot say so for certain. But I can say that this situation, in the end, will serve to demonstrate the majesty of God. He is, after all, God. If you can bare it, the Bible teaches that He spoke the heavens into creation by the Word of His power. By His Word He formed the seas, the lakes, the land, the birds, and the beasts. The creation declares His genius. We are a people dwelling on a tiny blip in the universe in and our lives are as short as a breath. The vastness of creation surrounds us for one purpose. The universe is not about us. The universe is not about itself. It has one message: Our Creator is glorious. From the beauty of the sunrise to the terror of the storm, nature declares God’s sovereignty.
The question is why did God allow this to happen? The answer: To display His glory to the world. Love Him or hate Him, He is God, and there is no other. Yet He is also compassionate and loving. He withholds no good thing from those who would embrace Him. The greatest treasure in all the universe, a treasure so great that the stars in heaven are dim by comparison, is Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man. And what did the Father do with His greatest treasure? What did He do with the treasure that has been the object of His affection from before the dawn of time? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). If a person had to trade all worldly belongings to see the wonder of the Christ, then there is only one word for such a trade: Gain. Yes, it is infinite gain.
To sum up, I believe that God allowed this to happen to New Orleans to display His sovereignty and to benefit those called according to His purpose. I cannot see it now, nor can I understand it. The doom is too fresh, and the dead are unnumbered. But I have faith that in the end, when God’s purposes are revealed and we see the wonder that He has wrought, I will bend the knee and cry glory. May God grant every survivor of this disaster the grace to see such a vision.
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago