1. MSNBC: “Death Toll Passes 22,000 in Myanmar Cyclone”
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the cyclone and tidal wave that crashed into Myanmar (formerly called Burma, in southeast Asia) this week, reportedly causing more than 22,000 deaths (as of earlier this week).
Additionally, an almost unfathomable tens of thousands more were reported missing and up to a million homeless in the literal and figurative wake of the cyclone, which included a tidal wave up to 12 feet high that washed away many of the houses in low-lying villages. The people of Myanmar will also have to cope with the destruction of agricultural areas known as the country’s “rice bowl.”
When natural disasters strike, the question of “where was God?” echoes in the hearts and minds of people worldwide—especially when today’s high-tech media can bring us raw footage of the disaster and the affected masses. For many atheists, the existence of death and suffering was the prime reason for their abandonment of God. But understanding Genesis as true history allows us to see the destruction of nature as not part of God’s original “very good” plan for earth and humankind, but rather as something aberrant—not what God originally intended.
And so, starting from Genesis, we can give answers to those who ask where God was in the midst of the Myanmar cyclone. God created this world and pronounced it “very good,” and it was not then a world of death and destruction. However, in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve violated God’s commandment and ate the fruit of the tree, which brought death into the world (Romans 5:12) as part of the Curse. What we see today is not the “best possible” creation of a loving God, but rather the sin-filled, cursed corruption of the original paradise. Natural disasters, suffering, violence, and death are all signposts that point us back to the effect of sin in making our world what it is today—but they are also crucial reminders of our need for a Savior (Romans 5:17)!
For more information:
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