There is a question that I hear more and more people ask….”What in the world is going on?” When they ask this question, I usually ask, “What do you mean?” It is then that the dissertation of today’s calamities are brought to the forefront of the discussion.
They speak of the crazy weather all over the world. They talk about the high amount of earthquakes and the destruction it leaves. Hunger, famine, floods and other horrific events flood the minds of those who talk about these things. So what in the world is really going on? Before I can answer the question, history must speak first.
When we read the stories of the Bible, we see many different patterns for the problems in the world. The Scriptures are filled with story after story where famine, war and other judgments are brought onto the world, but have you ever asked yourself why?
Currently, I am reading through Jeremiah, the prophet. He was given the task to speak with Israel and Judah concerning the upcoming tragedies. They were to experience war, slavery, famine and a feeling of abandonment. Why? Because they were not following the ways God had set before them. God had instructed the king of Babylon to infiltrate Jerusalem and Judah to bring forth the judgment God had desired because of His people’s sin. In fact, Jeremiah quotes the king of Babylon, “Your God has told me to do these things…” God also calls the king of Babylon, “His servant”. Wait a minute. Is it possible that God uses the wicked to do His will? (Here is where a resounding “yes” is inserted.)
You may be asking, “So what does that have to do with today?” Let me begin by saying that I am not one to cry out, “Destruction is coming. The end of the world is here!” However, there is something to say about comparing today’s events to those of our ancestors.
When we look around and actually observe our surroundings, here is what we see. We see weather that is unprecedented. I did a quick study on the weather patterns, the intensity and destruction these things bring. According to the NOAA (which tracks weather and informs of possible weather related events), there has been an increase year after year regarding tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. The numbers don’t lie. In fact, you see small increases for quite some time, but after 1947 and the 1960’s, the number of these natural disasters had increased almost exponentially. When we study the intensities of these storms, we also see a huge increase as well. Each year these storms become more and more intense, leaving utter destruction and sorrow. These natural disasters are on the rise and don’t seem to be stopping.
More recently, many people are talking about the crazy weather patterns that are not considered natural disasters. In New York, we have had snow in October, above normal temperatures and less rain than we have had in years. It has been so dry that brush fires have been popping up all over the place. This type of weather has been reported all over the United States.
What about war? Since the 1940’s there have been more wars than ever before. Terrorism in on the rise. Hatred toward various countries have increased. Nations are seeking their own desires for their own purposes, threatening war on those who disagree. We have seen groups of people rise up against their leaders, starting civil wars and hunting down those who they think are the enemy.
So what do we get from all of this? Throughout Scripture, God makes it clear. If His people do not obey His ways, then judgment will come. No matter what our opinion may be, there are stories after stories where God brings judgment on the world because of the disobedience of His people. So who are His people?
In the past, Israel and Judah were considered God’s people. However, Christ taught that those who follow and obey the Father are His people. Jesus taught that there will come a day when the Father will gather “He will call a people who haven’t been called His people and call them His people.” This is what theologians have called “those in the time of grace”. This time is today.
Let me “cut to the chase”. When we observe the problems and natural disasters of today’s world and we see the increase of sin, we must ask ourselves, “Lord, what is going on?” We probably won’t like the answer but it must be said. I believe all of these things are happening for a few reasons. First, we live in a dying and sinful world. Death and destruction are a part of this world because we are sinful. It all started with Adam and Eve and will continue. Second, I believe that Jesus is returning soon. In Daniel, Ezekiel, Revelation and other parts of Scripture, we are warned not to be alarmed at the problems of the world, the natural disasters, war and other such problems because they have to occur before Jesus Christ returns. Third, I believe that judgment is being poured out on God’s people.
Now before getting all crazy on me, when I say judgment, I really mean discipline. God allows judgment (discipline) to be poured out on the world because of the disobedience of His people. So how are we disobeying?
When we don’t stand up for what is right, we disobey God’s desire for our lives. When we vote for those who stand with abortion and homosexual rights, we disobey God’s will for our lives. When we watch movies and TV shows that are blatantly against God, we disobey God’s will for our lives. When we fail to spend time with God, give our money to God or don’t use our time for God, we disobey God’s will for our lives. There are so many more examples, but time does not permit me to go further.
This does not mean we have to appear angry or hateful, but we are called to stand up for what is right and true. Jesus taught the Samaritan woman, “There will come a time when the people of God will worship in spirit and in truth.” We must not only know the truth but we must also act on it as well. Our attitude should be positive, loving and desiring to do God’s will. We can stand without making ourselves look like idiots and fools.
This message is not for everyone, but it is for the church. We all must change our ways, thoughts and objectives to be in line with what God desires. How do we know what God desires? Scripture says that if we desire to know the will of God, we must first live and seek the will of God. Simply desiring is not enough. We must act on it as well.
This has been a convicting blog, but also an encouraging one. Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” With every judgment God poured out on His people, He also gave them encouragement. The world doesn’t have to be like this. If we, as a people of God, obey His commands, we might just see a change in the world. Then people might ask, “Hey, what in the world is going on? Why did it just get better?”
God Bless and encourage someone today.