About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Is The 2004 Tsunami God's Judgment
On Muslims ?
It has been suggested that the Tsunami that devastated many countries around south east Asia, and killed tens of thousands of people was God's judgment on Muslims. To me this is a hard statement to make. How one would really know if this event was God's judgment is questionable, except if God had specifically said so. Then if someone told me that God told them that the Tsunami was God's judgment on Muslims, I probably wouldn't believe them.
One might say that 911 was also God's judgment on America. Then if that is the case, then on an individual level, if you or I get in a car accident, one might suggest that was God's judgment as well. If that was the case the Apostle Paul was constantly being judged by God because he was constantly having problems and calamities. We know better than to think that.
The Old Testament is full of examples of God judging both individuals and nations. The New Testament says little about such judgments in comparison. We do have God judging Annanias and Sapphria because of their hypocritical lie. The destruction of the Temple as prophesied by Jesus was most likely a judgment of God.
One reason why it is eerier to see God's judgment in the Old Testament is because the time span of the Old Testament was over hundreds of years, giving more opportunity for His judgment to be seen. This is not so with the New Testament, which spans only a few decades.
It is my thinking that if God has judged nations in the past, He still does now. But to say that the Tsunami is a judgment on Muslims, I simply don't know, and may never know. It is a strong statement to make, and I don't believe anyone can make the statement dogmatically. Besides, many of the people killed were not Muslims.
Paul, in Romans 8:22 says something that might make you interpret this Tsunami in a different light. He says that "the whole of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time". Paul goes on to say that we groan along with creation, "waiting for the adoption of sons". When Paul speaks of the adoption of sons, he is speaking of the return of Christ, when our adoption will be fully realized. I believe I can say with more certainty that the Tsunami was creation groaning, more than I can say it was God's judgment.
Because Paul compares this groaning to childbirth, I believe you can say, as the pain gets worse before the child is born, so the groaning of creation gets worse the closer we come to the end.
When it comes to 911, we cannot call that creation groaning. 911 could possibly be a type of judgment, maybe a warning from the Lord to a nation that is in the process of forsaking Him. But once again, I cannot say this with certainty because I simply don't know. 911 could also be a demonstration of how evil man has become.
To conclude, I believe that Scripture does teach that God has, and still does judge people and nations. But not every bad thing that happens to individuals or nations is God's judgment. Scripture also teaches that creation is groaning, and will groan more as time goes on. Whether we can say for certainty that any particular groan is God's judgment is debatable. We just don't know for sure. We can only preface our words with, "I believe...", or "I think..." We can't be dogmatic in our opinion, and opinion it is.