God, Natural Disasters And The Punishment For Sin - A Closer Look At Isaiah 45:7 & Amos 3:6 In Search Of Why Bad (Evil) Things Happen



After the cyclone Idai that ravaged Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique in March this year and left numerous people either or homeless, many questions started coming up. Some of those questions includes: Where does natural disasters come from? Why do they happen? Why does God allow such evil things as earthquakes, famine, landslides, hurricanes and other evils to happen?
As is their custom, some over zealous brethren who had never taken their time to understand the real acts of God as displayed clearly in the work of redemption (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) started writing and talking about things they have very limited knowledge of, attributing to God the very works of the devil.
These lots claimed that God was using such evils to punish man for his numerous atrocities on earth. Little wonder He created them in the first place.
The most popular verses they often place their feet to say that God is the driving force behind these natural disasters and other kinds of evil which He uses to either punish a people for their sins or to demonstrate His sovereignty over man, are Isaiah 45:7 and Amos 3:6. Without wasting much time, let’s take a deep look into these verses and find out if it is true what they say that God creates evil or disaster.
Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Amo 3:6  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? 
Is Isaiah 45:7 and Amos 3:6 actually saying that God creates or does evil either to punish sin or to exert His authority as the only God of the universe? If that is what these verses are saying, is it true about the character of God? Stick with me as we go on!
First, Isaiah 45:7 and Amos 3:6 are better understood in the context of the entire bible and not as individual verses. This is because the prophets, Isaiah and Amos (including all the old testament prophets) were allowed to speak to the people of their generation about God as the Holy Spirit occasionally gave them inspiration. However, not everything they said and wrote down can be said to have directly come from God, word for word. (I explained this better in the teaching: Who changed the unchangeable God?)
They were allowed to put everything they said to the people of their generation (both the ones that came directly from the Holy Spirit and their human perspectives) down into writing with the intention that the reader would gain a clearer understanding of the things they said and did in their time as he progresses in his study of the scriptures.
“At sundry times and in divers manners, the prophets spoke unto the fathers about God. But in these last days, God has spoken to us about Himself in and through His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things and by whom also He made the worlds. The son being the brightness of His glory, and the express image (ultimate revelation) of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, after He had by Himself washed away our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” Hebrews 1:1-3 (paraphrased by me)
In the days of these prophets and the fathers, the full expression of ALL that God is (His character and activities) was not yet revealed since man was still under sin and cannot at that state, receive the true knowledge of God in him. Until his sins have been washed away by a Saviour.
This sin nature coupled with the Mosaic laws, greatly limited their understanding of God and His acts. This was the major reason the main crux of the new testament brought into play by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is a thorough knowledge of God.
Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 
Heb 8:11  And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 
Heb 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 
Until this new testament was ushered in by the blood of Jesus, all that the old testament folks (including Isaiah and Amos) had, were just the partial knowledge of the operations of God permitted for folks in their era.
Not only were they greatly limited in their understanding of God, they also never knew much about the existence and the operation of other forces in the earth apart from God. By that I mean Satan and his demons. This is the major reason the word “Satan” appeared only 15 times in all the old testament books and “devils” appeared only 4 times there.
In these 19 appearances (both words joined together), not one time was any of the words mentioned in either Isaiah or Amos. This explains why the prophets of old did all kinds of miracles but never cast out a single demon. They didn’t know much about them.
Not having a full knowledge of the existence and operations of the devil, they credited everything (good or bad) that happens on the earth to God. Even when they spoke on His behalf using words like “I am,” “I create,” “I do” etc.
However, when Jesus (the full knowledge of the Godhead) showed up on earth, not only did He reveal to us the true nature of God via His words and actions, He also took time to unmask for us the doer of evil, the one known as the devil or Satan.
Joh 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 
In the face of death He (God in the flesh) raised the dead. He gave life rather than take it.
Luk 7:14  And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 
Luk 7:15  And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 
We see this His character as God again in John 11.
Joh 11:43  And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 
Joh 11:44  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. 
He supernaturally stopped the storm (more than once), multiplied bread and turned water into wine. Instead of calling down fire upon His enemies, He sternly rebuked His disciples for even conceiving the idea.
Luk 9:51  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 
Luk 9:52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 
Luk 9:53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 
Luk 9:54  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 
Luk 9:55  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 
Luk 9:56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. 
Seeing the character of God clearly in His Son Jesus Christ, the apostle James boldly wrote:
Jas 1:13  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man
In other words, when evil happens, let no man attribute it to God. Why? Because God cannot and does not use evil to tempt or try any man for any reason. He does not do evil and should never be associated with it. His works and gifts are ONLY good stuffs.
Jas 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 
So from the context of Isaiah 45:7 and Amos 3:6, we see that the prophets said the things they said in those verses in order to express the fact that there is no other God except Jehovah. However, in the context of the entire Bible, we see that certain things happen in this world that does not directly come from God and one of them is natural disasters.
The man Job in his ignorance also claimed that everything happening on the earth and to him precisely, came from God. Good or bad. This made him accept the afflictions of the Devil wholeheartedly until God opened his eyes and he said:
Job 42:5  I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 
Job 42:6  Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. 
That is, “I use to know you by what people said about you which I believed. But now my own eyes have seen you for who you really are.”
God does not create or use evil to force man serve Him. The natural disasters and other evils going on in the world today are not happening because God wants to teach man some lessons with them. They are not happening because He is angry that America and other western nations have given in to homosexuality, abortion and other sins.
These disasters and evils are happening in this world simply because the original order set in place by God has been altered by sin, courtesy of Adam.
Rom 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned
However, through the Word we know that someday we will no longer experience such. And that is simply because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
So is God the one punishing nations with natural disasters and other evils? Certainly not. We know this because we have seen Him clearly in Christ. If He punishes even one nation for sin with such, He would have to apologize to Jesus for dying on the cross since He has been punished once and for all for sin.
I hope this blesses you. In Christ we have seen and known God clearly. And in Him we know that God has no business with evil.
Glory to God!

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