Do you remember the company that advertised that their margarine tasted so much like butter it could fool Mother Nature? The opening scene reveals a peaceful, natural setting as Mother Nature dipped her finger in and tasted the margarine. When she discovers that what she is tasting is not her own natural butter but a man-made replica she declares: "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!" and she unleashes her havoc and disaster all across the TV screen.
While this was merely a very effective advertising campaign, the truth is, God often exhibits displeasure through the forces of nature. He uses these elements to call the wayward and wicked to repentance. The people in Noah’s time learned this lesson too late as did the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In our own time, among the predicted commotions of nature is the upheaval and shaking of the earth. God chastises and calls people to repentance by the voice and testimony of earthquakes. As Jesus taught his disciples on the Mount of Olives about the pending doom of Jerusalem and the future calamities preceding his second coming, he declared: "And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places." (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11.) Isaiah warns us that judgment will come with earthquakes. (Isaiah 29:6.)
More than 700 earthquake tremors of magnitude 2.5 or higher have been recorded just in the State of Colorado since 1867. That is 700 earthquakes over a period of more than 150 years. During this same period, California experienced more than 20,500 similar-sized quakes. Statistics from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate that earthquakes around the world are increasing in frequency and intensity. If the chart that follows is any indication, it would certainly seem that the voice of God is speaking through the elements calling people everywhere throughout the earth to repent.
The impact of natural disasters such as earthquakes generally affects an entire population of an area. We must be careful about judging the victims of such disasters. While it is true that the wicked are often pinpointed for such destruction, as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, it is also true that the righteous will often suffer along with the wicked. Adversity is often the refining fire that strengthens faith.
“I am reasonably certain that we will all experience hardship and misfortune over the course of our lifetimes. It seems none of us is immune. Some difficulties may be brutal, cruel and potentially destructive. They could even make us question our faith in God. Spiritual preparation is a time of crisis is by far the most important and critical aspect of our personal sustainability. Regrettably in many cases our spiritual sustainability is the most neglected aspect of our personal preparation.” Quoted from Sustainable Spirituality.
Mankind can survive all forms of natural disaster: houses can be rebuilt, bones can be mended, supplies can be replenished. And even where death has occurred, there is the hope and reality of resurrection and life beyond the grave. But losing our faith and turning from the ways of the Prince of Peace to the wickedness of the master of misery is a disaster of eternal consequences.
Of all the disasters taking place during the last days, the disaster of disobedience is ultimately the deadliest. The earth is in motion. Today's news is filled with accounts of large-scale famine, civil unrest, and natural disasters. Even more devastating in the long run is the spiritual destruction of disobedience to God's law that is engulfing the world. This horrific quake is shaking the moral fiber out of the nations of the earth and leaving the land in moral desolation. Many people seem to be oblivious to this destruction and have become so desensitized they don't even feel a tremor.
The forces of nature cannot be controlled, however, the plagues and moral pollutions that imperil the spirituality of people can be controlled if people simply followed a moral life and sought to do the will of God rather than to pursue their own carnal and selfish ways.
Read more about what you can do to increase your Sustainable Spirituality.