The 9.0-magnitude quake devastated much of the Tōhoku region of Japan, with the tsunami it caused washing away much of the wreckage from the quake—and causing new wreckage of its own. Since the horrific incident, the country has struggled to ensure survivors receive adequate food and shelter; meanwhile, workers are attempting to control overheating problems caused by the tsunami’s power disruption at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
National Geographic News provides a collection of twenty dramatic photos showing the extent of the damage and reminding us of the awesome power of geologic and hydrologic forces.
In the aftermath of any natural disaster, especially one so brutally and indiscriminately devastating as this, the cries “Where was God?” and “How could a loving God . . . ?” grow louder than usual. At Answers in Genesis, we are greatly saddened at the rising numbers of victims of this tragedy, and we pray for the well-being of the survivors.
Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden is the ultimate cause of the death and suffering we see in the world today. God, in His holy character, could not allow sin to go unpunished, and the Curse of Genesis 3 marks the mortality of man and the harshness of the earth.
But in answer to the question of how a loving God could allow such a tragedy, we point to the consequences of human sin—not the sin of Japanese people, but of one man, Adam. As the ancestor of all humankind, Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden is the ultimate cause of the death and suffering we see in the world today. God, in His holy character, could not allow sin to go unpunished, and the Curse of Genesis 3 marks the mortality of man and the harshness of the earth. All humans suffer the effects of the Curse, though some of its effects—like the tsunami in Japan or the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004—are more concentrated.
The good news is that our bondage to sin has been undone through the saving work of Jesus Christ, who bore our punishment on the Cross. Those who believe in Him are not condemned (John 3:18) but have eternal life (John 3:16). We pray that as a result of this tragedy, both tsunami survivors in Japan and the world that is watching will have another opportunity to hear this, the saving message of the Gospel and the reality of God’s love amid suffering.
(For more on this topic, see Massive Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan and “Lost” without Genesis: Coping with the “Death Wave”.)
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