Mother nature or the Lord God who sent the flood waters?

imagePhoto courtesy Queensland Government (link no longer available, 5 September 2016)

See Brisbane floods, January 2011, “What a difference a metre makes” (Brisbane Times).

By Spencer D Gear

I. Introduction

Why does God allow such devastation as we have seen in Queensland with the floods of December 2010 and January 2011? By 13 January 2011,

“About 19,700 homes and 3500 business premises are expected to be flooded in Brisbane and about 3000 homes and businesses in the Ipswich area, while some 3585 people have already been evacuated”.[1]

Have you been listening to or reading the mass media to hear their views? The secular media blame it on “mother nature”. These are some media grabs that I have read:

  • A Sydney newspaper stated: “ MOTHER nature has unleashed its fury in the state’s north with 18 rivers expected to break their banks by tomorrow night as the Queensland floodwaters run south”.[2]
  • Another newspaper headline was, “Australian floods ‘disaster of biblical proportions'”.[3]
  • Federal Opposition treasury spokesman, Joe Hockey, stated: “Australia is a rich-enough nation to be able to handle the worst of mother nature – floods, droughts, you name it, all the horrible events that occur on a regular basis at this time of year”.[4]
  • Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, on 11 January 2011 at a press conference said: “This is our darkest hour of the past fortnight…. Mother nature has unleashed something shocking out of the Toowoomba region”;
  • “Mother nature has delivered something terrible in the last 48 hours but there’s more to go”, said Anna Bligh.[5]

So, who sends the rains? Is it “mother nature” or God Himself? God is very clear about this in the Scriptures. If it is God who sends this “disaster of biblical proportions”[6] (the language of the media), what is God up to and how can this come from an absolutely loving, just and good God?

These are some of the questions from both secular and Christian people. Under normal circumstances, I would choose to expound a portion of Scripture, but after so much devastation in Queensland and northern NSW, I believe it is appropriate for me to provide a Christian response to the question, “Why does God send or allow floods to devastate Qld?”

The answer is similar for: Why was there a Tsunami in 2004 in the Indian Ocean?[7] Who was responsible for the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in Darwin on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1974?[8] What about the Brisbane floods of 1974? What about September 11, 2001 and the Muslim attacks on New York City and then Washington DC?[9]

This raises the theological issue known as theodicy, which asks: Since God is omnipotent (all-powerful), is absolutely good, and His sovereignty means that he controls everything in the created universe, how is God not the author of evil? How can evil exist in the world and allow such things as the suffering caused by the Queensland floods, cyclone Tracy, and the Indian Ocean tsunami?

These are some of the questions of theodicy. The word, theodicy, comes from two Greek words, theos (God) and dike (justice/right). It deals with the justification of the goodness and righteousness of God in the midst of evil in the world.[10]

imagePhoto courtesy Queensland Government (link no longer available, 5 September 2016)

 

1. Let’s establish some foundational layers:

A. First layer: We live in a violent and fearful world, but that does not mean that the Lord God is not sovereignly in control.

The Bible is very clear that God governs the entire universe, from the smallest bird to the wildest Queensland storm or tsunami. Let’s looks at a few verses from the OT and NT.

Amos 3:6: “When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?” (NIV)[11]

Isaiah 46:9-10, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me… I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please'”.

Matthew 10:29: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care”.

Matthew 8:27: Of Jesus, it was said: “The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!'”

No person or thing, no tsunami, September 11, or the Qld floods, can ruin the nature and actions of the sovereign will of God. They may cause people to doubt God and blame mother nature, but we need to get back to the fundamentals of God Himself. “I am God, and there is no other”. Will we scoff at Him or will we bow before Him?

B. Second layer: Satan and his demons are alive and well on planet earth.

When God created the universe, Gen 1:31 states that “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”. But by the time of Genesis 3, we find that Satan, in the form of a serpent, was tempting Eve to sin. So, from a time perspective, between the events of Gen. 1:31 and Gen. 3:1, there seems to have been a rebellion among the angels with many turning against God and becoming evil demons, doing evil.

The head of the demons, Satan (meaning “adversary), is mentioned in 1 Chron. 21:1 when “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel”. In Job 1:6, “One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them”.

We know from various passages in the Scriptures that the work of Satan and demons is to get people to sin and they engage in destructive activity (see Gen. 1:3-6; Matt 4:1-11; John 8:44; Rev. 12:9; Ps. 106:37). In John 10:10, their actions are described by Jesus this way: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.

Satan and his demons are alive and well on planet earth and their motives are to destroy. BUT … there’s a

C. Third layer: The evil one, Satan, is in this world but he has to get permission from God to operate.

Job 2:6-7 states: ‘The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he [i.e. Job] is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”. So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head'”.

But it was with the permission of the sovereign Lord.

Luke 22:31 states: Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat”. This was Satan controlled by Jesus.

There is not a single person or thing in the universe, not even raging waters coming down from Toowoomba into the Lockyer Valley and then the Brisbane River that can frustrate the sovereign will of God. Satan is a powerful enemy and does a lot of evil in this world, but Satan has to get God’s permission to operate and all of Satan’s actions are within the sovereign will of God. Satan cannot break free from the harness that God has placed on him.

Remember who caused Job’s problems. Job 2:6-7 said it was Satan who was given permission by God to punish Job. When we come to the very last chapter of Job in 42:11, we read: “All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought on him…”

Job had the trouble of Satan in this world, but God used Satan, on a leash, to bring trouble to Job. Why couldn’t Satanic actions happen to us?

D. A fourth layer is the consequence of what happened to human beings as a result of Adam & Eve’s actions in the Garden of Eden.

You know the story well from Genesis 3 of how Adam and Eve fell into sin and sin has infected the entire human race.

Original sin or original corruption is the language. The Westminster Confession of Faith, ch. 6, states it so well:

II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion, with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body.

III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.[12]

“Children of wrath” is a phrase used to describe the effects of Adam’s sin on all human beings. Read about it in Romans 5:12-21. This is the inheritance of every human being from the time of Adam and Eve. We inherit a sinful nature and it is passed from parent to child.

Eph. 2:3 says that we are “by nature children of wrath” (ESV). We are born separated from God and antagonistic towards God.

How is this applied to the Queensland floods?

My wife and I had a personal experience of this during the 1974 Brisbane flood. We, as sinful but redeemed human beings, were living on the banks of the Brisbane River at Graceville while I attended theological college. We were silly enough to live in our 20-feet caravan and had our car there in a flood-zone. We lost car and caravan because of our frail, sinful humanity, inherited from Adam. Call it our lack of planning, or stupidity, but it was a result of our frail, sinful humanity.

There was another example in The Australian newspaper of 13 January 2011,

POLICE were attempting to ensure the safety of thousands of homes abandoned by evacuees as reports emerged of looters using boats to rob riverside homes west of Brisbane…

The situation has prompted Premier Anna Bligh to appeal to residents to report any incidence of looting and prompted anger among some local councillors.

Ipswich councillor Paul Tully described the looters as the scum of the earth.[13]

The stealing of goods by looters is an example of the outworking of an inherited sinful nature of people in our community.

I was interacting this month with a person who has become a friend, Jim Parker, on a blog called “Christian Forums”. This is how he expressed it to me when I asked, “Why does God allow such devastation as we are seeing in Queensland with the floods of December 2010 – January 2011?”

Perhaps it would be more to the point to ask why people insist on building cities on flood plains.

San Francisco was destroyed by a massive earthquake because it is built on a major earthquake fault. So they rebuilt it on the major earthquake fault.

People build homes along the Russian River north of San Francisco. About every 5-7 years their homes are destroyed by floods. They rebuild….

People know the dangers of the places where they build cities and they choose to rebuild them after they are destroyed by “natural disasters” which, having happened once, should be sufficient data to decide to move somewhere else.

But when they don’t and another flood or earthquake just like the last one happened they ask, “Why did God allow this?”[14]

But how does what happened with Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, relate to the destructive nature of flood waters, earthquakes and tsunamis? Let’s look at some biblical teaching that may help us to process floods, cyclones and other disasters in our natural world.

Teaching no. 1: God is the sovereign Lord who sends the rain.

Do you remember Matt. 5:45? “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”.

The rain we receive comes from the totally good, righteous and loving Creator and sovereign Lord of the universe. May I add that the lack of rain we receive is also from the sovereign Lord God.

There would be no rain unless God caused it to happen.

Teaching no. 2: Sin affects our natural world deeply.

We can see it in the tsunami, the Qld floods, cyclones, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and what the media love to call “mother nature’s” actions.

Let’s note a couple verses from the OT:

Gen. 3:17, ‘To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’  “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life”.

Lev. 18:25: “Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants”.

Please note especially Rom. 8:20-22, which reads: “20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now (ESV).

What does it mean that creation “was subjected to futility[15]” or “vanity”? “Vanity” is a rare NT word found only here and in Eph. 4:17and 2 Peter 2:18. It means, “empty, futile, vain”.[16] In Rom. 8:20, Paul writes of the whole of creation subject to vanity, futility and v. 21 says that creation is in “bondage to corruption or decay” and what an analogy in v. 22: “the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now”.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been groaning with tears welling up in my eyes as I saw cars and houses being swept away in the raging waters with people on their roofs and screaming for help. I’ve been grieved to hear of lives lost, including that of children. Talk about the whole creation groaning!

Do you remember Genesis chs. 6-9 and why God sent the flood to deluge the entire world in Noah’s time? Why did God do it? Gen. 6:11-13 states:

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

God said to Noah that he would never wipe out the whole human race like that again (Gen. 9:15): “I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life”.

God sends the rain, but the creation groaning with disasters like this is related to sin entering the world. How do we know? God told us.

Teaching no. 1: The sovereign Lord sends the rain;

Teaching no. 2: Sin affects our natural world deeply;

Teaching no. 3: There will be suffering in our world.

Pastor John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN, reminded me:

“And lest we think naively in response to these calamities, as though the cost of lives was something unusual, let’s remind ourselves of the obvious and the almost overwhelming fact that over 50,000,000 people die every year in this world. Over 6,000 ever hour. Over 100 every minute. And most of them do not die in ripe old age by sleeping peacefully away into eternity. Most die young. Most die after long struggles with pain. And millions die because of the evil of man against man.

“Sudden calamities shock us only to make more plain what is happening every hour of every day of your entire life. Thousands perish in pain and misery every day. Probably seven or eight thousand people will have died during this worship service. Some of them are screaming out in pain just now as I am speaking and as you sit there in relative comfort. If there is to be any Christian joy in this world, along with love, it will be sorrowful joy, broken-hearted joy. What person in this room, who has lived long enough, does not know that the sweetest joys, the deepest joys, are marked with tears, not laughter?”[17]

What is to be the Christian’s response to trials and suffering? I’ll mention just two:

Firstly, We are to show compassion to those in need.

Remember Matthew 25: 37-40 and the final judgment?

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Remember the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:41).

Secondly, for the Christian, the Book of James reminds us:

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (that’s James 1:2-4).

This is a sermon in itself. Let me give it to you in brief and this is a tough one to learn. But it is thoroughly biblical: If you want to experience growth in your Christian life, accept the many trials that God sends your way because this is what they do:

  • They test your faith to find out what kind of stuff your Christian life is made of;
  • This testing causes you to persevere in your faith; and
  • When this perseverance is complete through enduring trials, you will be mature and complete in your faith, not lacking anything.

If that is what trials do to your Christian faith, why don’t you say to God, “Thank you for the trials with a purpose that you always send my way. Please send me more so that my faith will grow and I will mature”.

But let me warn you! God in his sovereign will does not warn you in advance what those trials will be. But if you are a true believer in Christ, they are always meant for your good – to cause your faith to grow up, to mature.

If you don’t believe me, you talk with those who have been tested through intense physical or emotional suffering. Talk with somebody who has been persecuted for his or her faith.

Remember Habakkuk 3:17-18:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

We will experience suffering in our world. What is to be our response? “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior”.

Let’s review:

Teaching no. 1: The sovereign Lord sends the rain;

Teaching no. 2: Sin affects our natural world deeply;

Teaching no. 3: There will be suffering in our world.

Teaching no. 4: Tragedy should cause us to re-evaluate our priorities

Calamity, whether through cyclones, floods, earthquakes or other devastation, should jolt us to rethink and change priorities. If we build in flood-prone zones near a river, losing many possessions may cause us to see the damage that a materialistic lifestyle can do. I’m reminded of that Jesus said:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:19-21).

If the floods in 2010-2011 in SE Queensland don’t cause people to re-evaluate their priorities in life and death, what will?

Teaching no. 5: There will be an increase in trouble and disasters as we approach the second coming of Christ.

We don’t know when this will be, but we know this from Luke 21:23-30:

“How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. For there will be disaster in the land and great anger against this people. They will be killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end.

“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.  People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

Let me say it again, on the authority of Jesus: “So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!

Use your mind in discerning where to live.

To understand the impact of floods and cyclones, God has given us minds to discern which areas of Australia are the most prone to floods and cyclones. If we want to avoid being victims of floods and cyclones, we can choose to avoid living in those areas.

The Australian government’s, Attorney-General’s Department, Emergency Management for Schools, has compiled this graph of the most cyclone prone areas in Australia as Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

www.crikey.com.au has located this range of maps to show the flood prone areas of Brisbane and District after the January 2011 floods.

May the Lord help us to be wise in making decisions about where we live in Australia.

Disasters and God’s judgment

I received an email with the content of this blog (below) under the heading, “Japan denounced Israel exactly 1 year before earthquake and tsunami”. This blog appeared at Armageddononline.com #257:

Ron Reese from 5 Doves has discovered that ON MARCH 11TH, EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO, JAPAN DENOUNCES ISRAEL!!!
http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/annou…3/0311_01.html

Exactly 1 year ago March 11, 2010…The exact day of the 9.0 earthquake in Japan hit a year later in 2011.
Genesis 12:3 “I will Bless those who Bless (Israel), and Curse Those Who Curse you.”

Remember, America forced Israel to remove 8,000 Israeli’s from their homes in Gaza, then came Katrina where
America lost 800,000 houses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama.

Japan demanded that Israel not build 1,600 housing units in east Jerusalem. After the 9.0 earthquake Japan may
have to rebuild 1.6 million homes.

God is not mocked! Pay attention America!

A more detailed comment by Ron Reese is in, ‘Ron Reese (15 March 2011) “On March 11th, exactly one year ago, Japan denounces Israel!!!

What are we to make of those who want to link Japan’s actions (sins?) against Israel with the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on 11th March 2011?

Jesus will not allow us to draw the conclusion that the Japanese, because of their response to Israel, are any more sinful than we are. This is clearly stated in Luke 13:1-5:

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (ESV).

To paraphrase Jesus for Aussies today, based on Luke 13:1-5: There are people present today who speak about the Japanese who denounced Israel one year before the tsunami. Jesus answers these who see this as judgment against Japan: “Do you think that these Japanese are worse sinners than all Australians because they acted in this way? No, says Jesus. I tell you: but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish”.

We do not have the right to pronounce that the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear meltdown are God’s judgment on Japan – based on Luke 13:1-5. Providing judgment is God’s job and he will do it in our time. God has told us (Luke 14) that we all are sinners who need to repent and the Japanese crisis should be a reminder that all sinners need to repent.

Conclusion: The Judo Technique

I wrap up with an illustration that I learned when I was studying Jim Kennedy’s gospel presentation Evangelism Explosion.[18] I’ve adapted it for this message:

You are in discussion with non-Christians about the floods and other disasters and you begin to say what the Bible teaches about sin, disasters and the future. A person will say something like, “I don’t believe the Bible.  You’ll have to convince me some other way than referring to the Scriptures”.

Many people are devastated by this objection.  What happens to them?  Their attempt to share a biblical view of trials and disasters fizzles.

This need not be the case.  I want to encourage you to use this objection as a springboard into the Bible’s view of suffering and of the Gospel.  The Apostle Paul, when he preached in Greek cities that had no background in the Bible, appealed to the Scriptures even though the people who listened to him did not believe the Bible.

He proclaimed to them and the Holy Spirit used the proclamation to save some who then came to believe the Bible to be true.  When we witness and share Christ’s view on life, our primary function is to proclaim the gospel, not defend the Bible.  BUT when people object to the Bible, we DO NEED good answers to respond.  And there ARE EXCELLENT answers.

The judo technique works like this.  The objection, “I don’t believe the Bible,” is quite an easy one to deal with.  Don’t use the approach of a boxer who meets the blow head on and tries to overwhelm the opponent with counter punches.  Instead use the technique of the judo expert. The force of the opponent’s blow is used to throw the opponent.

Here’s how it works in presenting a biblical view on trials and disasters.  The person who objects, “I don’t believe the Bible,” usually has some university education, or has been exposed to some course in the Bible, biblical criticism or something like that.

There is often some intellectual pride that says or infers something like this: “I used to believe those fairy tales when I was in kindy, but now I am an educated person and am far above believing those things.”  It is this intellectual pride that can be used to turn this objection into an opportunity for presenting the gospel and a biblical view of disasters.  I suggest this kind of dialogue with the person who objects.

“You don’t believe the Bible, John?  That’s very interesting and it certainly is your privilege not to believe it, and I would fight for that right on your part.  However, if the Bible is true then obviously you must accept the consequences.

“I would like to ask you a question. The main message of the Bible, which has been unquestionably the most important literary work in human history, is how a person may have eternal life. So what I would like to know is: What do you understand that the Bible teaches about how a person may have eternal life and go to heaven?”

In addition, I’d like to ask you: “What is your understanding of what the Bible states is the reason for painful personal experiences and disasters in our world?”

He may say that he does not believe in eternal life.  He could say, “The Bible has a loony message about what causes disasters like floods and I don’t believe it”.

To this you could say, “I’m not asking you what you believe, but I am asking you what you understand. It would be a rather unintellectual approach to reject the world’s most important book without understanding even its main message and the reasons for disasters, would it not?  What do you understand that the Bible teaches as to how a person may have eternal life and what causes disasters like floods?  What is your understanding about what the Bible teaches on these subjects?”

My experience is that over 90% will respond by saying that it is by keeping the Ten Commandments or following the Golden Rule or imitating the example of Christ, doing good, or something like that. Or they’ll say that there is no answer and “mother nature” is the cause.

You might respond something like this: “That is just what I was afraid of, John.  You have rejected the Bible without even understanding its main message and the causes of disasters. Your answer is not only incorrect, but it is diametrically opposite to what the Bible teaches.  Now, don’t you think that the more intellectual approach would be to let me share with you what the Scriptures teach on this subject and then you can make an intelligent decision whether to reject or accept it?”

Now the tables have been turned.  Instead of being superior to the Scripture and even above listening to it, he now finds himself ignorant of even its basic message and the Bible’s reasons for disasters.  Now he must decide whether to listen to the message of the Scriptures or be found to be not only ignorant but also some obscure person who opposes intellectual advancement — and wants to remain in his ignorance.

This is the last thing in the world that his intellectual pride will allow him to be.  So, very often he will give you permission to tell him the gospel and give biblical reasons for suffering and disasters.  It is at this point that you pray with vigour that the Holy Spirit will take the gospel, which is the power of God to salvation, and use it to awaken him from the deadness because of sin.

Brothers & sisters in Christ: God is sovereign. As the creator of all things visible and invisible, He is the owner of all. He has the absolute right to rule over all, and He exercises this authority in the universe. [19] All human beings are accountable to him.

Endnotes:

[1] Rory Callinan 2011, “Anger rises as looters plunder homes”, The Australian, 13 January 2011, available at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/anger-rises-as-looters-plunder-homes/story-e6frg6nf-1225986639966 (Accessed 13 January 2011).

[2] “NSW towns bracing for floods”, The Daily Telegraph, 8 January 2011. Available at: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/nsw-towns-bracing-for-floods/story-e6frf7l6-1225983985425 (Accessed 9 January 2011).

[3] “Australian floods ‘disaster of biblical proportions'”, National Post, Gracemere, Qld., available at: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/Australian+floods+disaster+biblical+proportions+official/4052002/story.html (Accessed 9 January 2011).

[4] “Qld floods damage Australia’s economic performance”, Lexi Metherall and staff, ABC Southern Queensland, 5 January 2011, available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/05/3106548.htm?site=southqld&section=audio&date=%28none%29 (Accessed 9 January 2011).

[5] “Now is not time to panic”, The Courier-Mail, 11 January 2011, available at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/toowoomba-hit-by-tsunami/story-fn6ck45n-1225985261691 (Accessed 12 January 2011).

[6] “Australian floods ‘disaster of biblical proportions'”, National Post, Gracemere, Qld., available at: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/Australian+floods+disaster+biblical+proportions+official/4052002/story.html (Accessed 9 January 2011).

[7] See “2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami”, available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake_and_tsunami (Accessed 12 January 2011).

[8] See “Cyclone Tracy”, available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Tracy (Accessed 12 January 2011).

[9] See “September 11 Attacks”, available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks (Accessed 12 January 2011).

[10] Some of the information in the last 2 paragraphs is based on W. Gary Crampton 1999, “A biblical theodicy”, Trinity Foundation. Available at: http://www.leaderu.com/theology/theodicy.html (Accessed 12 January 2011).

[11] Unless otherwise stated, all quotations are from the New International Version of the Bible 2010, available from BibleGateway.com at: http://www.biblegateway.com/ (Accessed 12 January 2011).

[12] Available at: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/ (Accessed 13 January 2011).

[13] Callinan, ibid.

[14] Jim Parker, Christian Fellowship Forum, The Fellowship Hall, “Why does God allow floods to devastate?” #50, 10 January 2011, available at: http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?redirCnt=2&tsn=41&nav=messages&webtag=ws-fellowship&tid=120493 (Accessed 13 January 2011).

[15] mataioteti (dative).

[16] E. Tiedike 1975. mataioo, in C. Brown (ed.), The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol 1. Exeter: Paternoster Press, p. 552

[17] John Piper 2005, Desiring God, “Where is God? The Supremacy of Christ in an Age of Terror”, September 11, available at: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/where-is-god (Accessed 13 January 2011).

[18] The Australian edition of Evangelism Explosion (1983) is  published by Evangelism Explosion Ministries Australia, 81-83 Wentworth St, Port Kembla, NSW, 2505, pp. 84-85.

[19] Based on Henry Clarence Thiessen 1949. Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, p. 174. See: 1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 45:9; Ezekiel 18:4; Daniel 4:35;  Matthew 20:15; Romans 9:14-24; 11:36; Ephesians 1;11; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 4:11.

 

Copyright © 2011 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 17 June 2016.

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