The closer you live to a national or international event, the more you feel the impact, even it there is no deeply personal connection.
After 9/11/2001, I felt the need to preach about the theological and practical implications. Was it God’s judgment on America as some suggested? Or did God have nothing to do with it as others insisted? Are there things to be learned from terror attacks, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, or any personal tragedy? What might that be? Luke 13:1-5 is a key passage that addresses these questions, but there are many other relevant texts.
Monday afternoon’s devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, naturally raises these hard questions. Oklahoma City has known tragedy before; the Murrah Federal building bombing in 1995 and what was considered the worst tornado ever in 1999, that went through Moore, though some are saying this one eclipsed it. The things I’ve said in the past about these kinds of events are still true, I believe. God was involved because He is sovereign over all things. God has a purpose for everything. We must be humbled by such destructive power and examine our own hearts for our need to repent. We must not go beyond what God has revealed in our efforts to explain it, or blame some specific person, group, or situation. Are Okies more guilty than Hoosiers because they were hit and Indiana wasn’t. Jesus says, “No.” What Jesus says is that all disasters are calls for both Okies and Hoosiers to repent.
But this time, I pass you on to another blogger, former Wheaton College professor, and now pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Sam Storms. Storms makes seven observations that I believe are spot on. Read Tornadoes, Tsunamis, and the Mystery of Suffering and Sovereignty.