Is there a root cause and a lesson to be learnt from the effects of the natural phenomena such as lightning, thunders, hurricane, earthquakes, roaring seas, drying or receding of seas, hail, draught, natural disasters which have been affecting the earth since time immemorial?
There is a common slogan which states that, “the worst of Mother nature brings about the best of human nature.” From this perspective it tends to suggest that Mother Nature is in complete control of itself, and regardless what it throws at human beings, they will exercise resilience and rebuilt whatever that has been destroyed.
But the question is, are natural disasters simply the work of Mother Nature? Or are there root causes and a higher authority who oversees the whereabouts and activities of all the natural phenomena that are affecting planet earth?
History shows that from time immemorial the earth has suffered from many major disasters and a root cause has always been attributed to them, and the reason for causing them, For example:-
• Noah’s flood
With regards to the flood we see that the root cause of the flood was due to man`s wickedness, and it was as a form of judgment, for it is stated that, “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7)
In ordering the building of the ark the Lord said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth…And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die” (Genesis 6:13, 17).
With regards to Noah´s flood, it is without a shadow of doubt that the root cause for the destruction of the earth was man’s wickedness which filled the earth with violence, and it was the Lord Himself who brought the flood waters on the earth. But what about now! With the passage of so many destructive hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, draughts, roaring seas, drying or receding of seas, hail, lightning bolts, thunders, do the same hold true today? Who or what is the root cause of these natural phenomena, and who is responsible? And why are they being administered?
The irony of truth is, there are three (3) players that are directly or indirectly responsible for all natural phenomena that are affecting the earth and they are-
Man is the chief culprit or the root cause of all the calamities that the earth is experiencing, whether in a positive or in a negative way. Naturally, man`s way of life is diametrically opposite to that of the Creator, because his carnal mind is enmity against God, and it is not subject to the law of God, and neither can it ever be. Man’s way seems naturally right to him, but it ultimately leads to death. His human wisdom therefore does things which are contrary to the laws of nature, and having a heart which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and so inadvertently, man transgresses the law of nature and when they boomerang such as climate change will cause innumerable damages .
Satan, the devil is another player in the catastrophic events that affects the earth. He is known as, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” To have a better understanding on how Satan sometimes has a role to play, let us look at the example of Job.
It is stated that, “there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it. “Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:6-12).
One of the ways that Satan attacked Job was by destroying his children through a storm. For it is stated that while Job was being notified of the lost of his property, a servant came to him saying; “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” (Job 1:18-19).
Satan is known to be the accuser of the brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, and technically, he has the legal right to claim or seek compensation when the laws of God have been violated, because the wages of sin is death, and he who sins is of the devil, so it is within his jurisdiction to make requests to God.
Satan is also very wrathful because he knows that his time is short. For it is written: “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12)
Satan is the god of this world and the whole world lies under his sway. He and his demons are the ones ruling this earth, and so we have been reminded saying; “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Satan has given to the rulers of this world his power, his throne and great authority, he has the power to inflict punishment on evil doers if God grants him the permission to, and so we have been cautioned saying; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1Peter5: 8-9).
The other player who is involved in the natural phenomena is God the Almighty, who is in full control of everything that happens because He is the Maker, the Possessor, the Redeemer and the Judge of this world and nothing takes place without His express permission. The irony of truth is, the earth and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein belongs to the LORD: For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.
Our LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and brings the wind out of His treasuries.
Here are a few examples of how our Lord is in full control of the natural phenomena, disasters that are affecting the earth.
In a dialogue with Job the LORD said to him, “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that an abundance of water may cover you? Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, ‘Here we are!’? (Job 38:33-35).
The prophet Jeremiah wrote; “He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding. When He utters His voice — There is a multitude of waters in the heavens: “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries” (Jeremiah 51:15-16).
At the leashing of the seventh plague in Egypt, Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time. The LORD is righteous, and my people and I are wicked. Entreat the LORD, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.” So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s” (Exodus 9:27-29).
God uses thunder and other natural phenomena as a way of expressing His displeasure. “Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes: Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the LORD, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking a king for yourselves.” So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel” (2 Samuel 12:16-18).
It is stated that, “From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds of the north. By the breath of God ice is given, the broad waters are frozen. Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth. He causes it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy” (Job 37:9-13).
To the foolish prophets the Lord said, “My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace — and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with un-tempered mortar —say to those who plaster it with un-tempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’ “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it” (Ezekiel 13:9-13).
• Drying/receding of seas
This phenomenon is an outward sign of God`s wrath, for it is written, “God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies; The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
“He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, and the flower of Lebanon wilts. The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him” (Nahum 1:2-6).
To His servant Israel the Lord said, “Why, when I came, was there no man? Why, when I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink because there is no water, and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering” (Isaiah 50:2-3).
God manifest His presence and power in the form of earthquakes, for example, the Lord said to Ariel, the city where David dwelt, “You will be punished by the LORD of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire” (Isaiah 29:6).
It is a way God executes judgments upon the wicked, as it is written. “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground” (Ezekiel 38:18-20).
It is also a sign that God used to demonstrate His power at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the saints who had fallen asleep, and in the future, the resurrection of the two witnesses, as it is written:” In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13).
We can also make mention of fire and hail, snow and clouds, waves of the ocean all fulfilling His word. Because these are all the works of the LORD: “For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, So that its waves are still” (Psalms 107:25-29).
Since everything is under the divine control and guidance of the Lord, how are we to respond to all the calamities that are affecting the earth! What lesson is there for us to learn?