In the face of perplexing and disturbing calamity, such as the tornado that swept through Moore Oklahoma last week, the human heart cries out for answers to cope with tragedy. "Why, Lord?" we are prompted to ask.
In this darkened and trauma-shaken world, the only place we can go to find reliable answers is God's Book, the Holy Bible. Human wisdom seems shallow and empty in the face of such catastrophe. However, within the pages of God's Book we find the information as to why we are in the situation we are in. Many are ready to blame God for the disaster and death. "Acts of God," they call them. Is that a true picture of things? Is that an accurate portrayal of how and why these things happen? Does that correctly tell us who is responsible?
The Bible reveals quite a different perspective. It tells that it is not God, but someone else who is accountable for these tragedies. "An enemy has done this" is the Bible's answer to life's calamities. Matthew 13:28. The Scriptures tells us that God created a perfect and beautiful world that was without flaw or defect. Genesis 1, 2. But our first parents disobeyed God's simple command, thereby surrendering control to Satan, the enemy of God and man. Genesis 3. The dominion that was given to Adam was relinquished into the hand of the enemy, who claimed this world as his own and has delighted to exercise his powers of destruction within it.
Formerly an exalted and powerful angel, Lucifer rebelled against God and His government and was expelled to this earth. Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-17; Revelation 12:7-9. Though evicted from heaven, he still was allowed to retain much of his power and cunning. Specifically as it relates to the Moore tragedy, Satan is called the "prince of the power of the air." Ephesians 2:2. The Bible makes it clear that it is Satan who brings misery and pain, including the fatal impact of "great winds." Job 1, 2. It is Satan who brings earthquakes and other "natural disasters." Isaiah 14:6, 7. Let's be very clear about who is responsible for the deadly tornado that struck Moore. It was an act of the devil, not an act of God.
God is love. I John 4:8. When Adam and Eve fell into transgression, God did not abandon this world. He had a plan for Planet Earth; a costly plan to bring hope, salvation and restoration. It would cost the life-blood of His Son Jesus Christ, Who would die a cruel death on Calvary to redeem mankind. John 3:16.
Though we live in a troubled world that still bears the curse of sin, Jesus conquered the devil by His death on the cross, and one day soon God will bring His plan to completion. Citizens of Moore: we weep with you and pray for your loss. Our deepest sympathy goes out to you. But do not lose hope, for God weeps with you also. He knows and cares. Do not lose courage, residents of Moore! Soon Jesus will return in the clouds, just as He promised, to take His children to a place free of pain and suffering. John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:1-6. Do not lose faith, people of Moore! God's loving hand is yet reaching out to you in salvation!
John Anderson is a pastor at the Valley Center Seventh-Day Adventist Church.