One of the questions that I am often asked has to do with calamities and natural disasters. People wonder if these can be interpreted as signs of God's judgment upon America.
My answer to that is yes and no. On the one hand, we should acknowledge that we can never have an infallible understanding of God's providence. We are not prophets who can peer into the mind of God and determine whether or not God is using this event as a way of testing us (as in the case of Job) or if it is a direct expression of his wrath (as in the case of the Moabites attacking Israel during the time of the Judges).
However, that being said, every calamity ought to give us pause. If we treat it with a sort of atheistic complacence and never give a single thought to the sins of our community / nation / state / church, we may only be incurring more guilt. It is only right that such times of calamity would cause us to bow before the Lord to humbly petition his mercy.
It may be that such a catastrophe may have nothing to do with communal guilt. But it would be foolish not to take time to reflect as a corporate body and/or ask the Lord to reveal our misdeeds if there be any to which we are blind.
[For more on this, I would recommend James Henley Thornwell's famous sermon, "Judgments: A Call to Repentance."]
We might be more particular here and ask whether or not the recent hurricanes, wildfires, and attacks by enemies indications of God's wrath. To this I would respond, "Perhaps so." Yet this I can definitely say: God is not on America's side.
We do not need any specific national tragedy to assure us of this. The fact that we have gross and appalling deeds should be all the indication we need.
We are a nation that is embroiled in sin. We have a staggering amount of blood on our hands due to abortion, a debased currency coupled with debt proportions that are almost astronomical, and an all round attitude of giving God the finger every chance we can. These are just a few of our corporate offenses.
That we are not escaping the clutches of this downward spiral is judgment enough. God has said he would give people over to their sins, and this is what he seems to be doing.
It should be safe to say that America, though once a shining city on a hill, will no doubt go the way of all nations if Christ should tarry. And while God may very well send us warnings, it is safe to say that we are tightening the noose of our destruction quite well enough on our own.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.