Over the last few weeks, two hurricanes have destroyed homes of thousands of Americans in two different states. Many have lost their lives. Dear possessions will never be recovered. This doesn’t mention the psychological damage many are dealing with and will continue to battle for an extended period of time.
Questions of confusion abound. “Why would God allow this?” “Why would God do this?” “Doesn’t He care?” “Is He even there?”
The question of suffering and the sovereignty of God is one I will not be able to answer in a blog post. For a more thorough treatment, try The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis.
However, I would like to share some application of Romans 8 to the current situation of weather in our country, if you will so allow me.
Here are the verses I’m referring to. Romans 8:18-22:
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
I pray a few simple remarks will prove helpful.
1. The creation is not as it should be.
It was “subjected to futility,” as it states in verse 20. Subjected by whom? By God upon the curse in Genesis 3. In verse 22 it says the “whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth.” In verse 21 it says the creation is in “bondage to corruption.” It’s a corrupted creation. A groaning creation. Groaning is not pleasant. We shouldn’t be surprised then about weeds, tornados, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and other disasters. The way the world was originally created is not the way the world is now. The sin of Adam and Eve impacted a lot more than just their relationship with God and each other.
2. The creation will not always be broken.
It says in verses 20-21 that God subjected the creation in hope that it will be set free from its bondage and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. The earth and the stars and the planets are in a hopeful bondage. It’s a bondage that will not last. It one day will receive the freedom that belongs now in part and will one day fully belong to those who trust in Christ. There will be a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells (Revelation 21:1).
I humbly submit that the biblical worldview offers much more satisfying answers to the reasons for hurricanes and flooding than the naturalistic worldview. The biblical narrative shows we should not be surprised about these kind of events. They will increase until the return of Jesus. I think a more difficult to grasp question is, “How does the naturalistic worldview explain these kind of events?” I don’t think a world that is ever evolving to get better and better justifies the brokenness we see in the world.