We only have to look at the history of God’s own nation Israel to realize that God used catastrophes often to judge it. In fact, God often used barbaric nations like Babylon, Persia, and Egypt to inflict that justice but then subsequently He invariably brought those nations crashing down. God has to judge sin and He will use catastrophes to turn people back to Him.
The great catastrophe of sin brought about by Adam was not settled by the worldwide flood brought about by God. The sin continued through Noah, his wife, and his children. Then in Genesis 10, we see the Table of Nations. From the sons of Noah, we see all people speaking the same language and migrating together into one place in the land of Shinar. This was in direct disobedience to God’s command given to Noah and his sons: “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it” (Gen. 9:7). This was the second time God gave the command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. He had given the command to Adam in Genesis 1:28. This command is directly and essentially linked to God’s redemptive plan for the world.
Sadly, it is never the goal or desire of corrupted man to do the will of God. Our nature is to follow selfish pursuits. We will protect our little kingdoms regardless of what God may command or what He may want. God must intervene. Amid catastrophe, crisis, and the times when it seems as though the Lord is most absent that He is actually most active. Learning to see gospel opportunities when many others only see crisis is not a skill that comes naturally. Yet it is a skill that the body of Christ must learn. The closer we approach the time of Jesus’ return, the more natural and man-made disasters and calamities we will see. So also then will gospel opportunities increase—if we have eyes to see them.
What about the calamity that has hit California. The sheer volume of rainfall in the state is statistically massive. According to the National Weather Service, rainfall levels are as much as 600% above average across California.
Meanwhile, just under 200,000 homes and businesses were without power as of Tuesday morning, according to PowerOutage.us.
And while the start of 2023 has already proved devastating for California, there could be more challenges in the coming days. The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy rainfall across the state Tuesday and in Northern California on Wednesday, warning that “no significant letup” is expected anytime soon.
Evacuation orders were issued up and down the state Monday due to the threat of flash flooding and mudslides, including in the Montecito area in Santa Barbara County, which is home to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The flooding has already left at least 16 dead.
What will Christians do in this crisis, hopefully, they will see the opportunity to step in and help which will provide gospel opportunities?