I started thinking about the fires burning in California. It is horrible, I admit. So many businesses shutting down. As of this email, around 120 Starbucks closed, 16 McDonald's, corporate headquarters of Qualcomm, Jack in the Box, Sony Online Entertainment, Petco, San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park, and Sea World are all closed. Gateway Computers have urged their employees to not come in. Hundreds of millions in damage, and it keeps getting worse.
All this after Gov. Schwarzenegger "outlaws" mom and dad. I wonder if he is starting to feel like the Egyptian Pharaoh when God sent the 10 plagues? I see it as God is still on the throne and is taking notice.
I was thinking about that, too. However, we must be careful not to say "such and such a tragedy is a result of such and such a sin".... because remember what Jesus said about it?
Luke 13:1 Now 1 there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. He answered them, "Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all perish as well! Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all perish as well!"
Jesus was teaching them that there was little time, and that "TODAY is the day of salvation". God is in utter control of all events, and has a purpose in this fire. We need to be praying that God will work in the hearts of many in Southern California, and that many would respond by turning to Him for salvation.
Healing a Man Born Blind
John 9:1-12 Now as Jesus was passing by, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who committed the sin that caused him to be born blind, this man or his parents?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but he was born blind so that the acts of God may be revealed through what happens to him. We must perform the deeds of the one who sent me as long as it is daytime. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Having said this, he spat on the ground and made some mud with the saliva. He smeared the mud on the blind man's eyes and said to him, "Go wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated "sent"). So the blind man went away and washed, and came back seeing.
In the OT it is God himself who is associated with the giving of sight to the blind (Exod 4:11, Ps 146:8). In a number of passages in Isa (29:18, 35:5, 42:7) it is considered to be a messianic activity. Jesus was proclaiming Who He is, and Who sent Him.
The disciples assumed that sin (regardless of who committed it) was the cause of the man's blindness. This was a common belief in Judaism; the rabbis used Ezek 18:20 to prove there was no death without sin, and Ps 89:33 to prove there was no punishment without guilt. Thus in this case the sin must have been on the part of the man's parents, or during his own prenatal existence. But Jesus answered clearly that the blindness was for God's good purpose, so the acts of God would be revealed through what happened to him!
So, we must not make the mistake of assuming that a tragedy or sickness is a result of a particular sin. Of course, we all sin. And God is not pleased with sinful leaders who make laws that go against His word. However, He has a plan, and it is being fulfilled. Our responsibility is not to pronounce judgments and speak as if we are God, but to pray that His plan will be fulfilled. We need to pray for the Christians in the devastated areas, that God's grace will be granted to them in abundance, and that they will be used as the hands of God to minister to those who are suffering. Pray for those who are hurting, that their response will be to turn to God, Who is the Judge...for they will face Him, if not today, then on the great and terrible day of the Lord.