When Will Disasters End?
In the past two years catastrophic U.S. natural disasters have cost more than twice as much as the previous five years combined. How can we find protection?
Wildfires in the American West have been in the news lately, already costing nearly $2 billion in damage. Flash flooding is also causing staggering damage. And let’s not forget the devastating Oklahoma tornado that caused some $3 billion in damage in May. Some meteorologists are predicting record heat this summer and an active hurricane season. And the year is only half over.
In 2012 there were 11 disasters that cost at least $1 billion in damage each. The total damage of these disasters was $147 billion. And in 2011 there were 12 similar disasters, totaling $52 billion. So in the past two years weather-related disasters causing almost $200 billion in damage have occurred in America.
From 2006-2010 such disasters totaled some $93 billion. And in 2005 the damage was $123 billion, which included the damage from Hurricane Katrina.
And those are just the financial costs. The devastation, injuries and loss of life are truly staggering. No matter whether you believe that disasters are increasing, that man is putting himself in harm’s way more frequently or that the reporting is better (or a combination of these), we all long for a solution. Who has the power to stop all these disasters?
The Bible tells us a time will come when God will intervene to end all the destruction (Isaiah 11:9). But the Bible also says that in the meantime there is a seldom-recognized connection between a nation’s obedience to God and the blessings or troubles that a nation will face.
Where has America been heading in regards to biblical morality?
America’s changing morality
Recently the U.S. Supreme Court declared parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, and it has opened the door for increasing acceptance of same-sex marriages. Washington D.C. and eight of the 13 states that have approved same-sex marriages did so between 2011-2013. We can expect more states to follow.
The increasing acceptance of homosexuality is only the latest link in a long chain of rejection of biblical morality in America. Other trends, such as the increasing acceptance of cohabitation, divorce, adultery and open sexuality in movies, television shows and on the Internet, are also major problems.
In addition, rampant murder, stealing, cheating, lying and a host of other sins show a nation at odds with the commandments of our Creator.
What does this say about a nation that historically has been a Christian-majority nation, and whose heritage can be traced back to the ancient 12 tribes of Israel?
God holds America accountable
America has been the most powerful single country in history. Study of the Bible and history reveals we didn’t receive that power because of our own goodness, but because of God’s promises to the patriarch Abraham. And just as God told our ancestors, blessings would continue if we kept God’s 10 Commandments, but curses would eventually destroy us if we continued breaking God’s laws.
Ancient Israel and Judah were ultimately destroyed and taken into captivity because of their national sins, which included sexual immorality, idolatry and forgetting God.
America is rapidly continuing in the same mistakes as our ancestors. Unless we repent and turn to God, the Bible says we will experience the same destruction, which will ultimately end in starvation, military defeat and national captivity.
With God’s great blessings come great responsibilities. Yes, God holds America to high standards because He has given this nation unprecedented access to His Word, the Bible. It has largely been through the English-speaking peoples that the Bible has been printed and disseminated.
And God says that when we stray from His laws, punishment will come.
Notice the warning God gave: “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deuteronomy 28:15, emphasis added throughout).
Unless America turns from our present lifestyles, the Bible says more destruction is headed our way.
“If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the LORD will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses. …
“You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.
One thing is certain: If our nation does not turn to God, then more catastrophes are headed our way.
Is there hope for America?
A long time ago God sent the prophet Jonah to the city of Nineveh to tell them He was going to destroy the city in 40 days unless they repented of their evil ways. Surprising to Jonah, the entire city repented, and God did not destroy them.
But long before Nineveh there were two other cities that were also morally corrupt. They did not repent. And both Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God as an example to future generations, including us today (Jude 1:7).
But God tells us, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
If America wants to avoid the prophesied punishments, then we must stop breaking God’s laws and humble ourselves before Him—just as Nineveh did. But even if we as a nation won’t turn to God, we can each turn to God individually and receive His blessings and protection from the troubled times ahead.
If you are ready to make a stand against the moral decay that surrounds us, understanding repentance is essential. Read the articles in our section on “Repentance” to learn more.