Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Waiting for Another Earthquake

A late afternoon knock on the back door by a nice young man in a hard hat isn't exactly an everyday occurrence at my house. Neither is said man telling me sometime tomorrow, I will be greeted by a huge sonic boom that will "sound like a jet engine" as his company works on the main gas line.

At the end of his speech, he placed a bright red sheet of paper in my hands, said not to worry, and left.

Hmmm....nope. Nothing about this situation screams "no danger" to me.

First, they chose flaming red for the notice--not an "it's-all-going-to-be-okay" powder blue or some other encouraging, comforting pastel color. Red. Then there's the time-consuming door-to-door messenger, spreading the word that it won't be as bad as it sounds. And finally there's the fact that the messenger had to wear his hard hat just to tell me about the noise.

It may not be a dangerous situation, but it sure just doesn't scream "no danger" to me. In fact, it seems so much like how the cataclysmic events seen on the news are dealt with.

Earthquake in Haiti. Earthquake in Japan. Earthquake in Chile.

There seem to be two schools of thought for dealing with these devastating geographical events.

The one side says it's just a shifting of tectonic plates, that large earthquakes occurs every 25 to 100 years in Chile anyway. So no cause for concern--it just happens on a kind of schedule throughout history. No danger.

The other side says it's caused by global warming (or climate change, depending on whether you've shifted from the old verbiage to the new, more fashionable terminology). And we can stop these problems by using fluorescent light bulbs, regulating our cars' and factories' emissions, and switching from fossil fuels. Again, no cause for concern--we can fix it.

Again...sorry, but nope. Neither answer screams "no danger" to me. My life textbook says differently.

Sin is the cause. Earthquakes are the effect.

I'm not railing about pacts with the devil or anything like that. But I am talking about sin. Breaking God's law. You know--those ten commandments?

Time and time again, God uses earthquakes to meet out His judgment for sin. I can't just ignore the 20 some odd times Scripture uses the term "earthquake" or the equal number of times it uses the word "shake."

Well....I guess I could. But would that make the danger any less real?

Other people see climate patterns, climate change. But I only see God's judgment.

That's real danger, eternal-life-separated-from-God kind of danger...and not something we can fix by permanently parking our cars or shutting down all forms of industry or charting the next one on a graph. That's something we can only fix by individually falling to our knees and begging God for mercy while turning over our hearts and lives in obedience to Him.

But do you know what I'm waiting for?

The big one.

The earthquake caused by my Lord placing His feet once more on Terra firma.

"A day of the LORD is coming when... the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south" (Zech. 14:1a, 3-4).

Yes. I wonder how the news media will explain that one away?


  1. Ha! Who knows what kind of circus they'll come up with?!

  2. The guy in the hard hat cracks me up, not sure why.

    We most certainly are living in the last days, there is evidence all around us...

  3. Jennifer,

    Your visitor is too funny. Maybe the company he works for could write a book about "How not to freak people out".

    I am with you on the earthquakes and other natural disasters surrounding our world. It makes me think how big HE is and how small i am.

    Thanks for stopping by and just for the record...yes she really did throw me in. What I didn't mention was how weird she really was. She was obsessed with the color purple sooo much so that she dyed her poodles purple...no lie....I know this because (brace yourself) she lived next to us for a few years.

    How ironic....

  4. Did God give us free will so he could punish us for using it?

  5. Hi Jim--absolutely not. Just as an earthly father gives his children freedom and rules to abide by for their own good, so does our heavenly father. My earthly father gave me a set of rules to live by not so he could punish me for breaking them, but to protect me the best way he knew how.

    Free will also gives us the ability to choose to serve and love God or not. If we choose not to, there are consequences because sin against God's law in the 10 commandments means we have not measured up to God's perfection and holiness. As a result, we cannot be in God's presence because we are sinful and He is holy. Earthquakes and other consequences are God's way of trying to get our attention and show us that He wants us to love, obey Him, and be in a right relationship with Him.

    Just like my earthly father would rather punish me now so I would learn from my mistakes and not end up in a bad place as an adult, God does the same.