“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” Romans 8:20-22
As we witness earthquakes, volcanoes, and hurricanes around the world, the age old question arises: Is this an act of God? Was this somehow God judging people for not responding to the gospel? Or maybe His way of preparing them for the gospel? We know God could have stopped the disaster, but did He intentionally plan it? Or was this an act of Satan? Do demonic forces somehow have the power to bring about disasters according to their mission statement of “kill, steal, and destroy?” (John 10:10)
I believe it’s neither God or the devil, but a result of the curse which came on this earth when Adam and Eve sinned. In nature we see evidence of the beauty of our God, but also evidence of the ravages of the fall. Very similar to what we see in mankind.
Although neither God nor Satan directly causes disasters, in my opinion, both kingdoms are very active in the aftermath. Darkness will use tragedy in human minds as proof that God doesn’t love them, or that God doesn’t exist at all. It will try to bring despair, survivor’s guilt, bitterness, etc., anything to lead precious people who Jesus died for away from the help only He can bring.
What is God doing? “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) Notice it doesn’t say, “Close to the brokenhearted if they’re Christians,” or “if they’re praying.” He is unconditionally close to the brokenhearted whether or not they even believe in Him. He is speaking gently to hearts about His love; He is bringing comfort beyond comprehension; He is raising up individuals and governments to help; and yes, He will use tragedy to show people that they can’t put their trust in anything man builds or guarantees.
One day soon Jesus will not only liberate the children of God from their sin nature, He will remove the curse from creation itself, and then the lion will lay with the lamb.