We at Answers in Genesis have been saddened by recent news of a devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25. This earthquake and its aftershocks have killed thousands, levelled buildings, and left countless thousands homeless and hungry. It even triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest that resulted in fatalities.
Now, the headline of an article in the New York Times declares, “Ancient Collision Made Nepal Earthquake Inevitable.” The author writes, “More than 25 million years ago, India, once a separate island on a quickly sliding piece of the Earth’s crust, crashed into Asia. The two land masses are still colliding, pushed together at a speed of 1.5 to 2 inches a year. The forces have pushed up the highest mountains in the world, in the Himalayas, and have set off devastating earthquakes.”
But starting from the history recorded in God’s Word we know that this earthquake is not the result of a crash 25 million years ago and slow and gradual processes ever since. Instead, when we start with the history recorded in God’s Word, we know that this earthquake is one of the tragic consequences of the Fall and the global Flood of Noah’s day.
You see, God’s original creation did not contain earthquakes or any other natural disasters. When God saw all that He had made over Creation Week, He called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). The original creation was free from any death or suffering. It wasn’t until Adam and Eve rebelled against God that death and suffering became a part of our world (Genesis 2:17, 3:1–24). The death and suffering caused by this earthquake is a reminder of sin and the severe consequences that rebellion against our Creator brings. Thankfully, we can have hope looking forward to the new heavens and new earth when “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
We know the collision of the two plates that created the fault line that caused this earthquake did not happen 25 million years ago. This collision of plates would have occurred during the global Flood of Noah’s day around 4,350 years ago. This global catastrophe—a judgment on man’s wickedness—completely reshaped the globe. It would’ve ripped the original, single pre-Flood land mass apart. The process that did this, catastrophic plate tectonics, likely caused by the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep (Genesis 7:11), would’ve rapidly moved those newly created plates into near their current positions. They’ve been moving slowly ever since. The catastrophic moving and colliding of these plates is responsible for many of our mountain chains, like the Himalayas in Nepal and even Mount Everest. The fault lines around the globe that cause earthquakes are also grim reminders of the judgment of Noah’s day.
Please be in prayer for Nepal and especially for our brothers and sisters in that country who are reaching out to victims with the love of Christ. Also, as they watch the news, many people will be asking how God could allow such a tragedy. I encourage you to equip yourself with the biblical answer to why there is death and suffering—because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion—so that you can answer their questions and point them toward the hope that we can have even in the midst of tragedy because of the sacrifice of Jesus and the salvation that He offers. It’s important to know that such tragedy is not God’s fault—it’s our fault because of our sin in Adam. God stepped into history in the person of His Son to rescue us from the problem we caused and the resulting separation from our God.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.