The following was shared by Tom Tippett with the disaster relief workers.
What does the Bible say?
1. There is a Creator God who made all things.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2. This Creator has revealed Himself in his creation.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
3. Yet, in the revealing of His divine nature in creation – through the beauty and majestic wonder of all things both great and small – there is suffering in creation.
And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”
Creation will no longer cooperate with man. Man will have to struggle to get from the ground what once came with ease. Now certain combination of events cause disastrous occurrences such as famine, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, tectonic plate shifts, tsumanis, hurricanes, and tornados.
4. Man is not to place his security in the permanence and stability of creation. Here is what two writers said in the Bible:
“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless.”
What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?
Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.
The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.
The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.
Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.
Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.
The He used the water to destroy the ancient world with the flood.
And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live,
looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.
But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.
And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.
Ecclesiastes 1:3-11; 2 Peter 3:5-15