Tsunami and Repentance

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Gershom, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. Gershom

    Gershom
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    More from John Piper on the tsunami:

    Tsunami and Repentance

    January 5, 2005

    From pulpits to news programs, from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal, the message of the tsunami was missed. It is a double grief when lives are lost and lessons are not learned. Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent. “Weep with those who weep,” the Bible says. Yes, but let us also weep for our own rebellion against the living God. Lesson one: weep for the dead. Lesson two: weep for yourselves.

    Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent. That was Jesus’ stunning statement to those who brought him news of calamity. The tower of Siloam had fallen, and 18 people were crushed. What about this, Jesus? they asked. He answered, “Do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4-5).

    The point of every deadly calamity is this: Repent. Let our hearts be broken that God means so little to us. Grieve that he is a whipping boy to be blamed for pain, but not praised for pleasure. Lament that he makes headlines only when man mocks his power, but no headlines for ten thousand days of wrath withheld. Let us rend our hearts that we love life more than we love Jesus Christ. Let us cast ourselves on the mercy of our Maker. He offers it through the death and resurrection of his Son.

    This is the point of all pleasure and all pain. Pleasure says: “God is like this, only better; don’t make an idol out of me. I only point.” Pain says: “What sin deserves is like this, only worse; don’t take offense at me. I am a merciful warning.”

    But the topless sunbathers amid the tsunami aftermath in Phuket, Thailand did not get the message. Neither did the man who barely escaped the mighty wave with the help of a jungle gym and palm-leaf roof. He concluded, “I am left with an immense respect for the power of nature.” He missed it. The point is: reverence for the Creator, not respect for creation.

    Writing in the New York Times, David Brooks rightly scorns the celebration of nature’s might: “When Thoreau [celebrates] savage wildness of nature, he sounds, this week, like a boy who has seen a war movie and thinks he has experienced the glory of combat.” But Brooks sees no message in the calamity: “This is a moment to feel deeply bad, for the dead and for those of us who have no explanation.”

    David Hart, writing in the Wall Street Journal, goes beyond Brooks and pronounces: “No Christian is licensed to utter odious banalities about God’s inscrutable counsels or blasphemous suggestions that all this mysteriously serves God’s good ends.”

    These responses are foreseen in Scripture: “I killed your young men with the sword . . . yet you did not return to me, declares the Lord” (Amos 4:10). “They cursedthe name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory” (Revelation 16:9).

    Contrary to Hart’s pronouncement, the Christian Scriptures do indeed license us to speak of God’s “inscrutable counsels” and how he works in all things for mysterious good ends. To call this banal and blasphemous is like a bird calling the wind under its wing wicked.

    Jesus said that the minutest event in nature is under the control of God. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29). He said this to give hope to those who would be killed for his name.

    He himself stood on the sea and stopped the waves with a single word (Mark 4:39). Even if Nature or Satan unleashed the deadly tidal wave, one word from Jesus would have stopped it. He did not speak it. This means there is design in this suffering. And all his designs are wise and just and good.

    One of his designs is my repentance. Therefore I will not put God on trial. I am on trial. Only because of Christ will the waves that one day carry me away bring me safely to his side. Come. Repentance is a good place to be.

    ©Desiring God

    LINK TO ARTICLE
     
  2. Link

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    Here in Indonesia, the part that got hit really hard was the 'Mecca of Indonesia', known for keeping Islamic law. People now are also pointing out the wickedness in that area.

    This region ran off the Christians from their area.

    Right after it happened, they put a preacher on TV. He said this was the judgment of God and that the whole nation needed to repent.

    Even from a mosque here in Jakarta, the preacher was saying that this was the judgment of God, and that the people there needed to stop gambling and various other sins.

    So it seems some people in Indonesia are aware of God's judgment. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven againt all ungodliness of men.

    Please pray that this tragedy will open the hearts of the Indonesians in that region. Christians are among those going in to help offer relief and rebuild.

    When Egypt was stricken with plagues, there was some mercy there, too. They gained a knowledge of God. They knew that God was the LORD. May the people in this area also know who the Lord is through what has happened.
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Was September 11th God's judgement?

    How about the great Irish potato famine?

    Who are we to sit in judgement of God, deciding which acts of His are judgement, and which are simply natural tragedies?
     
  4. Gershom

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    I think the article from Piper answers your question, C4K.
     
  5. Eric B

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    He forgot to mention the tourists at wrecked hotels complaining about the service! :eek:
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    So tell me, those who know God's judgement - did He kill over a million Irish in the potato famine?
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    As a follow up, which of these were God's judgement and which were the natural course fo God's creation?

    http://www.nbc10.com/news/4030540/detail.html

    Of course, these events should awake our minds to the brevity oflife, the need for repentanace, and the importance of sharing the gospel. But the world old. The tectonic plates that God created are going to shift, sometimes people will die in the weather patterns which He created and set in movement. Does God ever intervene? We can't know for sure. Does God judge directly? He very well might. But it is not my place to determine which acts are His intervention and which are the natural result of His perfect creation.

    This was a bad place so it must be God's judgement? That is simply man's opinion.
     
  8. Gershom

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    There is evidence in the Bible that God deals in this manner, effecting judgment upon man. So there is support and reason to believe in this manner. If your conscience doesn't allow for that way of thinking, then don't.

    There is also support from the Bible that such events, whether direct judgment or not, are in the plan and will of God. To deny this is not a matter of conscience, but of ignorance.
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    No one can argue this fact. Nothing happens outside of God's divine will and plan.
     
  10. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Roger,

    We had this very same debate on another thread between LE and I. Check it out here

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I know - I was there for a while. This is in the non-Baptist thread ;) .
     
  12. Joseph_Botwinick

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    So was that other thread.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Whoops [​IMG] (Roger says sheepishly) ;)
     
  14. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Don't worry. I understand how the non-Baptist forums could be mistaken for the Baptist forums these days.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  15. Bro. James

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    Everything that happens:

    Is the result of God's sovereign will or His permissive will.

    He could have put a stop to evil back when Satan fell. He also could have stopped Adam and Eve from falling. He did not--according to His will.

    There was a big tsunami plus other hydraulic phenomenon in Noah's day--by the will of God--all flesh was destroyed save what was on the ark.

    God is still on His throne,

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  16. LadyEagle

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    We are not in the position to emphatically say it is NOT God's judgment, either.
     
  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Again, that would us judging God's actions. We just can't know and shouldn't try to presuppose His actions.
     
  18. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I think we can know from what the Bible reveals about him. Isn't that part of what the Bible is given to us for?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  19. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Of course, but we cannot discern when He is judging and when He is not.
     
  20. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I think we can see a Biblical pattern as I outlined in the other thread and see a good indication.

    Joseph Botwinick
     

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