Mobile version of this page Increase Text Size   Decrease Text SizeGet helpPrint this sermon
Earthquake!

"Earthquake: Why The Horror In Haiti?"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2010 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'Well, good evening to you all again, and it's good to be back in Olivet tonight to preach the gospel. To that end, I want you to turn with me please to Luke's Gospel chapter 13. As announced this morning, I intend to take up as a subject the Haiti earthquake. So this is a portion that I feel led of God to read to you, and we're beginning to read at verse 1 of Luke's Gospel chapter 13: "There were present at that season some that told him", that is, told the Lord Jesus, "of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices". Just to give you a little bit of background there, this seems to be referring to an incident where - you've heard the expression 'cloak and dagger'? Well, some Roman undercover soldiers, at least, had gone into the Temple in order to assassinate certain people who they thought were going to cause insurrection. So these soldiers went to a place of worship and committed murder, and the blood of that murder was mingled with the sacrifices in the Temple. So this was an atrocity: "And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?" - now in verse 4, the Lord Jesus is anticipating a question that might well have been in their minds. Obviously this was a common knowledge, accidental tragedy, we might call it. This tower had collapsed and fallen upon 18 people, and obviously the talk was going around that these people may have been wicked, and for that reason God allowed this to happen to them. But the Lord anticipates this question arising in their minds, and says: 'Do you think that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem, because this happened to them?'. Jesus says: "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish".

Last week's earthquake has left Haitians, and indeed the whole world, incredulous at the utter devastation that it has caused...

Let us pray for a moment please, and if you're a believer in the Lord Jesus be aware that there might be folk here tonight who need to hear the gospel, there might be professing Christians who are cold in heart, or backslidden, and there may be those listening to the recording of this message and will receive it, and they need Christ. So pray with me now, please, that the Lord may speak and be very evident among us as the word of God is preached.

Abba Father, we thank You that we know that You, as our Father, are the all-knowing, omniscient God, and we worship You for having all knowledge. We as creatures of the dust, finite, turn to You, the infinite. We as the foolish, turn to You as the all-wise One. Our request is, as we have been instructed in Your word: 'If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and upbraids not'. Lord, we ask for wisdom, acknowledging our foolishness and our dullness of mind and heart. We ask, Lord, that You would gift us with the knowledge that alone comes from You and from Your truth. We pray more than that Lord, that You will impart the spiritual knowledge to those who are listening who need Christ, whether they're still dead in their trespasses and sins, or whether they are folk who are doubting for some reason or another, or whether they are backslidden in heart. Lord, we pray that all who may hear this word, that the truth may witness to them as the truth, and Your Holy Spirit will take the truth and witness Christ to their hearts. So, Lord, we cast ourselves upon You now, and Lord we really are looking to You tonight to move in our gathering, to move in the lives of those who are hearing these words. For Christ's sake, and for His glory alone, we ask these things. Amen.

As we all are so familiar with now, on the evening of the 12th January last week, a series of earthquakes of magnitude between 6.5 and 7.3 struck Haiti. Where it struck was a highly populated area about 10 miles from Port-au-Prince. Prior to the earthquake, Haiti was considered, right up to date, was considered the poorest nation in the Western world. Added to that fact, and contributory to it I'm sure, it frequently was impacted by many natural calamities - not just earthquakes in the past, but we're mostly familiar with the hurricanes that often hit Florida as well, and the most recent of those being 2008.

However, last week's earthquake has left Haitians, and indeed the whole world, incredulous at the utter devastation that it has caused. I'm sure you have been watching the newscasts and reading the papers just like me, and there are certain terms that have been used to describe it: apocalyptic. The devastation has been spoken of 'being at biblical proportions'. The full extent of the damage and death toll is as yet unknown, but the projections being made of the fatalities are so vast that it is difficult to comprehend the staggering level of this humanitarian catastrophe. But I think the greatest question to have faced mankind through all his painful history is being loudly raised again, and it is a one word question, and it's probably a question that you at some time in your life have asked: W-H-Y - why has this happened? Some are going further, and asking: why, if God exists, did He allow such a thing to happen? It causes some to reason that God could not exist. Or there are others who are asking the question: if God is a good God, why would He allow this to happen?

The projections being made of the fatalities are so vast that it is difficult to comprehend the staggering level of this humanitarian catastrophe...

Now, let me just cause you to pause for a moment. I think the question 'Why?' is a natural one for us, in our finite beings, to ask when we don't know everything and we don't understand all the occurrences that take place in our lives and in the history of this world. But I remember learning as a young child that whenever you point the finger, there are always three pointing back at you - and that relates to God as well. We ought to stop first of all and, before we swiftly point the finger of accusation and blame into God's face for what has happened, we need to consider ourselves first and foremost.

There's no doubt that often man has been guilty of contributing to his own fate and to the suffering that he finds in humanity. John Blanchard, in his book 'Where Is God When Things Go Wrong?', raises some probing questions of mankind in general. I want you to think about it as I read you this portion just now. He says: 'Although our planet provides enough food to feed all six billion of us, millions die of starvation every year because of our selfish pollution of the atmosphere, our exploitation or mismanagement of the earth's resources and the vicious policies of dictatorial regimes. Can we blame God for this? Is he responsible for diverting disaster funds into the pockets of tyrannical rulers or greedy politicians? Millions are dying of hunger in India while its national religion forbids the use of cows as food. Hinduism has millions of man-made gods; can the country's chronic food problems be blamed on the one it ignores? Suffering is often caused', Blanchard says, 'by human error or incompetence. Had the owners of the Titanic not reduced the recommended number of lifeboats to avoid the boat deck looking cluttered, many more, if not all, of the ship's passengers might have been saved. Was God responsible for that executive decision? The International Atomic Enquiry Agency blamed 'defective safety culture' for the Chernobyl disaster. Can the blame for careless neglect of safety procedures be laid at God's door? A great deal of human suffering is deliberately self-inflicted. Smokers who ignore health warnings and are crippled by lung cancer or heart disease, heavy drinkers who suffer from cirrhosis of the liver, drug addicts and those dying of AIDS after indiscriminate sex are obvious examples. So are gluttons who dig their graves with knives and forks, workaholics who drive themselves to physical or mental breakdowns, to say nothing of the countless people who suffer from serious illness as a direct result of suppressed hatred, anger, bitterness and envy. Is God to blame for their behaviour?'.

I think he makes some very valid points, worthy of our consideration - particularly you, if, in your mind, you're levelling much of this guilt at God's door. Whilst the guilt for these self-inflicted injuries can fairly and squarely be laid at man's feet, you might be saying: 'But surely natural disasters are in a different league?'. Well, I'll grant you that to some extent, and yet even today I heard it on the radio that some of the Sunday papers are insinuating that man is partly to blame for the fallout from this natural disaster, because man has contributed to the poverty of this most poor nation in the Western world, Haiti. Man's corruption in that nation has also contributed to the state of its people and the fragility of the infrastructure, how the buildings have been built, the safety measures that were in place, and so on and so forth. Yet we have to say, at the end of the day, a natural disaster caused this. Can that be any of our faults?

We ought to stop first of all and, before we swiftly point the finger of accusation and blame into God's face for what has happened, we need to consider ourselves first and foremost...

Has the Bible anything to say about this? Well, let me start off by going to the very beginning, to the book of Genesis. It tells us there that ultimately all suffering that man has ever suffered in his history is as a result of Adam and Eve's first sin in the Garden of Eden. Their sin, disobedience toward God - God told them, 'Of all the trees of the Garden you may freely eat, but in the day you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in that day you die' - they disobeyed God, and launched the whole human race, all their human descendants, into this cycle of fallen existence that we now inhabit. Paul described it like this in the New Testament, Romans 5:12: 'Wherefore, as by one man', Adam, 'sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned'. From one man's disobedience, our forefather Adam, sin has passed on to all humanity - and if you ever wanted proof of that, and many dispute it, death is the proof. We die because the wages of sin is death. We live in a fallen world, hence the suffering. These are the tragic consequences of original sin.

But you might retort back, rightly so: 'But does that explain natural disasters?'. That might be the reason why we live in such a fallen world, but answer me this: that does not explain why disaster visits one continent and not another, why disaster visits one country and not another, why disaster - let's bring it home now - why disaster and tragedy touches one family and not another, one life and not another. Neither does this explain the reason why some countries, some families, and some individuals suffer to such extremes. We have to say that, don't we? It's very hard to understand why some suffer so much. But let me give you three headings tonight that I hope will help you in some of these conundrums.

The first is this: many of these questions are unanswerable. I think we have a duty to put our hands up and admit that we don't know everything. Sometimes some of us do think we know a great deal more than we do, and I find the more I learn the more I realise how little I knew in the beginning. Now there are some who would say that this country, Haiti, has been punished. Even in the secular press I've been reading that it has been named in the past: 'The Land of the Damned'. It was a land that was given up by other nations, it was a land whose national religion was voodoo - and even though many would say they were Christians, it was Christianised voodoo, a bit like what I was talking about this morning. Certain churches come in and adopt the cultural and pagan practices of the people. One commentator has described Haiti as 'an international crime scene'. One in ten people under the age of 40 are HIV positive. It has to be said that many Haitians believe that they have come under the judgement of God, they're testifying that themselves. The ones who have survived are praising God that they have been spared - but we have to be very careful, very careful, because no one can say what is and what is not the judgement of God, because there are many more wicked nations in our world that do not suffer such a fate. Yes, God judged the world with a flood in Noah's day; yes, God rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot's day; but equally so: God spared Nineveh, a very wicked nation, so wicked that Jonah ran away from God's will because he couldn't understand how God, a holy God, could spare such a wicked nation.

...equally so: God spared Nineveh, a very wicked nation...

It's very easy to pronounce on behalf of God, but we would need to possess a mind like God's to comprehend these weighty issues. The best thing we as Christians could do before we open our mouths is go and read the book of Job. Job's tragic experiences and his subsequent encounter with God taught him, and teach us, that the answers to these mysteries lie deep within God's sovereignty. Our finite minds can never explain such mystery, and neither should we try! But you see, what lies behind many people's accusations toward God in blaming Him for such a disaster, is really to declare: 'There isn't a God at all! How can you believe in a God if He could do such a thing? You preach a good God, and a good God would never allow this to happen, because the God that you believe in is also an Almighty God - so why doesn't He stop it?'. Though there is much fallacy in those assertions - not least that God has made us with free will to do as we please, and God just doesn't step in after we've made moral decisions and personal decisions to stop us in our path, He allows us to make choices and face consequences. But here's the great question that those with an atheistic mindset and philosophy need to answer: is atheism the answer for the people of Haiti? Is atheism the answer for anyone? Will ditching God do us any good? Will it make the world better? Will it make the lives of people who are suffering more meaningful? I'll tell you what it does: atheism only deepens the sense of despair.

Now, I would agree with you, there is much tragedy in this life. Man is born unto trouble as sparks fly upward, it's like a law of gravity. We will suffer, and some will suffer more than others - but tragedy ought not to drive us away from God, it ought to drive us to God, because that's where faith comes in: believing when we cannot explain and we do not understand. There's a great deal that we can't understand, and we can't second-guess what God is doing in our world, particularly when it comes to natural disasters.

So the first thing I want you to consider is: many of these questions are unanswerable, and if we could answer all questions there would be no need for an all-knowing, all-wise God - but clearly there is a need for one, because we don't know everything. The second thing I want you to consider, particularly if you're not a Christian, if you're not born again, if you're not converted, if you've never repented of your sins and believed the gospel: you need to consider that these incidents are wake-up calls. Even natural disasters that we cannot explain, at the very least are wake-up calls to a sleeping world; a world, generally, that is ignorant of God, and wilfully ignorant at that. C.S. Lewis, who I'm sure most of you know, wrote a book entitled 'The Problem of Pain', and in it he said: 'God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world'. Pain is God's megaphone to waken up those who are sleeping, spiritually. Cataclysmic events are meant to alert us to the realities of evil and suffering, that they are real. They are meant to shock us to the fact that life is brief, and death is certain, and our existence is fragile.

The Lord answers this anticipated question, and His answer tells us where our emphasis should be as we consider these events even in Haiti...

This day, in Luke 13, the Lord Jesus was questioned about certain calamities. As I said to you, the first was man-made - terrorism, you could call it - but the second was accidental, a tragedy. The Lord answers this anticipated question, and His answer tells us where our emphasis should be as we consider these events even in Haiti. In verses 4 and 5 we get the Lord's answer: 'The eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish'. So if the Lord Jesus was standing before us tonight, and we said to him: 'Lord, what are we to make of all this, all this earthquake, all this suffering, this loss of life, this destitution in Haiti?'; the Lord would be saying: 'This is what you're to consider, this is the emphasis that you're to rest upon: all of us, every single one of us, must face our mortality'. One day we are all going to die, and therefore the great question is: how we will meet our Maker? Will we be saved, or will we be lost?

Now, you might argue with the Lord Jesus, but I won't. Never a man spoke like this Man, there was never wisdom - you only need to read the Sermon on the Mount to realise in all three chapters of it, Matthew 5, 6 and 7, that no one has ever uttered such deep truths. Even other religions of the world borrow it! My friend, what the Lord Jesus is saying is: Look, there is suffering all around, and the duty that we have is not to answer unanswerable questions with our finite minds, but rather to consider our own mortality. One day we're going to die, and one day we're going to stand before God and give an account of what we have done with the lives that He has given us, and so the great issue, Jesus says, is: 'Except you repent' - and repent means change your mind about your sin, change your attitude toward yourself and just living for sin and for pleasure, and turn to God by faith - 'Except you repent', Jesus says, 'everyone likewise shall perish'. Oh, they might die in a hospice, or an old people's residential home at a ripe old age, having lived a good innings as we say, but ultimately we must all needs die! It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgement.

Oh, I know people don't like preaching like that these days, but this is how the Lord preached, and this is how we must preach. One death is a tragic thing, but one death, we've got to realise, is as tragic as thousands. One death is a tragic as thousands. I want you to consider tonight that, on average, everyday 151,000 or thereabouts people, 151,000 people die daily on our planet. That doesn't make the headlines in the Daily Mirror, does it? But each one of those deaths is tragic - and what makes it even more tragic, believer tonight, is that most of those people have never heard the name of Jesus Christ. I'll tell you, if there is a wake-up call for unbelievers in these events of the Haiti earthquake and such like, there's a wake-up call for believers. Now let me say, as Christians we have, I believe, a duty to help these poor people - and there are many missionary organisations that we can use as an avenue to do that, and I think we should. Indeed, wherever we find people in need, particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ - and there are those of them out there in Haiti - we are to help meet their need. But our primary responsibility is to take the gospel to them, and our primary responsibility is to fund those who take the gospel right across the four corners of the globe - and this is a wake-up call to do the work of the Gospel!

I know people don't like preaching like that these days, but this is how the Lord preached, and this is how we must preach...

Now I know some of you, I'm sure, are funding missionary work, but I have recently been confronted with this issue. I was reading a book by the founder of Gospel for Asia mission, K.P. Yohannan, and his vision really in his ministry is that he believes the Western world is rich - by the way, you're rich! You mightn't feel it, or think it - maybe you're a pensioner, and you would like to have a few more pounds, and you're waiting on this money coming through the post for the fuel bill and all the rest. Well, I sympathise, but in comparison with the rest of the world we are rich - many of us are very rich. He asks this question, and I'm preaching to believers now, but you need to hear it - he asks this question, the founder of this mission: 'Why are we rich? Why is the believing church in the West rich? Is it to live on the high hog, or is it to fund the gospel to those who are poor?'. My friend, it would break your heart to read this book, because he tells how evangelists are living in abject poverty and can't feed their children because they don't have money.

Now, I believe God provides, that's the way I live, but I believe God provides by Him exercising the hearts of His believing people to help those who are serving. I thank God for people who are exercised to give to our cause, but there are evangelists wanting to serve the Lord in Asia, they're springing up everywhere, but they don't have the resources to do it. I don't cry easily, but I almost did when I read of one man who had to go to a tribal area, and the people were completely illiterate, could not read nor write - so there's no sense in giving them Bibles. He couldn't give them gospel tracts, so he decided he was going to show them slides - but his problem was, he hadn't an overhead projector, and he couldn't afford to buy one. Do you know what that man did? He went to his local hospital every week and sold his blood, he sold his blood to buy an overhead projector to share the gospel.

This is a wake-up call for us as believers, and the wake-up call is that we are here for one purpose. The one purpose is not the business, and the one purpose is not the family - and thank God for both - but we're here primarily to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, these other things will be added unto us. This is why we have been saved, this is why we exist. But unsaved person here tonight: this is a wake-up call to your mortality, what of your soul? There was a King on one occasion had a jester, and whenever he was down in the dumps he used to bring his jester into the court to cheer him up, and he would laugh at the jester and it would make him feel good. But this King contracted a terminal illness, and he called the clown to him and told him: 'Your King is going away to a far country, and you're not going to see him again'. The jester was smarter than the King granted him, and he said to the King: 'King, do you know the country you're going to?'. He says: 'No'. He says: 'Have you prepared to get there?'. He says: 'No'. The jester remembered that on one occasion in the court when he was cheering the King up, the King was in such raucous laughter that he gave the jester a stick, and he said: 'Jester, if ever you find a bigger fool than yourself, give him that stick'. That day, as the King confronted him with that tragic news, he reached into his pocket and he gave the King the stick. He said: 'Sire, I am a fool in this world, but you're becoming a fool in the next'.

My friend, don't be a fool with your soul. This earthquake is a wake-up call...

My friend, don't be a fool with your soul. This earthquake is a wake-up call, but it's not just a wake-up call to mortality - but here's my third point: it's a wake-up call that there is worse to come. In Matthew 24 the Lord Jesus in verse 7 said that just before He returned nation would rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, there will be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places. In the next verse, the Lord Jesus said that these were the birth pangs before He would come to this world. Now you know, ladies, that birth pangs are something that increases just before the delivery. Many Bible scholars believe that what the Lord Jesus was saying was that wars and famines and pestilences and earthquakes would increase in their frequency and their ferocity just before the Lord Jesus Christ would come. It's certainly a wake-up call that worse is to come. The book of Hebrews tells us that there is coming a day when the earth shall be shaken, 'Once more', God says, 'I will shake not only earth, but also heaven. Yet once more, the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain'. Now let me explain that: it means that the things of this earth that can be shaken will be shaken, but only unshakable things will remain.

My dear friend, this refers to the second coming of the Lord Jesus: do you know that Jesus is coming again? Zechariah 14 speaks of a great earthquake when Jesus' feet land on the Mount of Olives. Matthew 24 and verse 29 says that there'll be great tribulation, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. This is not just an earthquake on earth, the whole of heaven will be shaken! Revelation 16 says that there will be thunders and lightnings, and a great earthquake such as was not seen on the earth - so mighty an earthquake, so great, and every island fled away - not just one island, every island fled away and the mountains were not found! The greatest ever earthquake in history is still to come! In fact, the Bible tells us that this earthquake will split the city of Jerusalem in three parts, and God will punctuate the completion of His anger being poured out on this earth with this devastating earthquake when Jesus comes again.

God's word says the things that can be shaken will be shaken, but the things that can't be shaken won't be shaken, they will remain. What is it talking about when it says the things that can't be shaken? My friend, I don't know whether you ever learned the story in Sunday School of the wise man and the foolish man. You maybe even sang a chorus about it. It simply goes like this: there was a foolish man who built his house on the sand, Jesus said, and when the storm came, because it was on a wrong foundation it sank and the house was destroyed - but there was a wise man who built his house on a firm foundation, the rock, and when the storm came the house remained. Now Jesus said, according to that parable, the man who built his house on the rock was 'whosoever hears these sayings of mine and does them'. Whosoever hears these sayings of mine and does them! My friend, it is those who have believed in Jesus Christ as Saviour, repented of their sins, and trusted in Him, when Jesus comes they will be the ones that remain, they will be the ones that stand firm.

God's word says the things that can be shaken will be shaken, but the things that can't be shaken won't be shaken, they will remain...

John says 'The world', this world, 'passes away and the lust thereof' - and that word 'lust', I think, can mean 'fashion'. This world passes away, and fashion passes away, but he that does the will of God abides forever - that's what it means to be saved! To be saved from judgement! My friend, do you know there is judgement coming? I know the way people think, and the way they feel - they think: 'Such a God is a callous God, such a God is a cruel God, such a God must be removed from all our suffering and all our pain and even all our sin' - no, my friend! You couldn't be further from the truth! Your problem and my problem is that God is good, that's our problem! He is so good that He is just. He is so good that He can't sweep sin under the carpet, because He knows we'll fall over it! Better than that, my friend, the answer to all human suffering and all death and judgement is this: that God Himself came in the person of His own Son to be our Saviour. God himself embraced our suffering, He embraced our pain, He embraced our sorrows. In His incarnation, He who was God, who created the worlds, came to be a babe in a feeding trough in a stable in Bethlehem. He who was infinitely rich became destitute, that we might be rich through His poverty. The humiliation He suffered at the hands of men, and then crucifixion as He hangs on a cross suffering ignominy, but more than that: He is becoming a substitute for your sin and mine, and in three hours on the cross He is suffering for all humanity.

The Bible says: 'Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows'. He not only took our sorrows, and He not only took our death, it says that He tasted death for every man and woman, boy and girl, when He took our sin and He became the sacrifice for our sins forever, and He died. When He died, He cried: 'My God, my God, why?' - there's that question - 'Why?'. Oh, don't think He didn't know why, He knew why. You see, God's answer to all human suffering, sin, judgement, is the cross of Jesus, the shed blood of Jesus, the compassionate dying love of Jesus. God's answer to all human suffering and sin, and the consequences thereof, is the crucified God. God came Himself to die on the cross to reconcile a world that doesn't want Him to Himself. My friend, never think God is distant, God is callous, God is harsh, God is apathetic. My friend, God came to where we are, and not only died our death, but the death of all men and women, and took our sin, and bore our hell, and carried our shame, and rose again the third day so that He might save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him.

Except you repent, you'll perish!

But, my friend, I've got to tell you tonight: except you repent - if you don't change your mind and attitude about your sin and yourself, and believe in this Jesus, and say: 'Yes Lord, I take You as my Saviour' - you'll perish!

Let us pray. Now whether you're here this evening in our gathering, or listening on the recording, consider what we have said. No one has all the answers, we do not know why this tragedy has happened at the other side of the world, or why suffering and so much anguish happens across the globe and in individual family units and lives. Sometimes these things are as a direct result of self-inflicted sin and decisions that are made, even nationally - and I do believe that many things that we are suffering nationally are, indeed, the finger of God upon us. Yet none of us have the mind of God to say dogmatically that this is so - but what we do know is that this is a wake-up call to all of us, to our own mortality, that our life is like water spilt on the ground - when it's spilt it can't be gathered again. Our life is but a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. My friend, your emphasis tonight should be Jesus': 'Nay, unless you repent, you will likewise perish'. Will you come to Jesus now? Will you say: 'Lord, I repent and I believe in You, save me now' - that's all you need to do, friend. By faith, repent and take Him as your Saviour, just where you are from your heart say: 'Lord, I repent, save me now', and He'll do it. Even at home where you sit and listen, He'll do it. But Christian, can I urge you: do something more for a vast world in need that has never heard, 2000 years since His birth, has never heard of Jesus and His love.

Visit our Good News page...

Where is God?Where Is God When Things Go Wrong?, by John Blanchard
We live in what has been called 'a world with ragged edges'. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, famine and other natural disasters kill millions of people and injure countless others, sometimes wiping out huge numbers within a few hours.

Every day, accidents claim an untold number of victims. Planes crash, trains are derailed, road vehicles collide, ships are lost at sea, buildings collapse, bridges give way, trees fall, machinery malfunctions. To make matters worse, disease cuts relentless swathes through humankind, causing immeasurable weakness, pain and fear, while 'man's inhumanity to man' brings a terrible toll of suffering.

Yet the Bible claims that God is in sole and sovereign control of everything that happens in the entire universe, that He 'works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will' and that He is 'compassionate and gracious' and 'abounding in love'. Is there any way in which all of this can hold together? The answer may surprise you...

Available to buy from evangelicalpress.org, but also available here by kind permission as a free PDF download, so that you can know the answer to this often asked question! [Note: This download is for personal use only and should not be printed or copied. The book can be ordered singly or in bulk from Evangelical Press]

------------------------Jump To Top Of Page
Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins,
Preach The Word.
January 2010
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at Olivet Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording, titled "Earthquake: Why The Horror In Haiti?" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

All material by David Legge is copyrighted. However, these materials may be freely copied and distributed unaltered for the purpose of study and teaching, so long as they are made available to others free of charge, and this copyright is included. This does not include hosting or broadcasting the materials on another website, however linking to the resources on preachtheword.com is permitted. These materials may not, in any manner, be sold or used to solicit 'donations' from others, nor may they be included in anything you intend to copyright, sell, or offer for a fee. This copyright is exercised to keep these materials freely available to all. Any exceptions to these conditions must be explicitly approved by Preach The Word. [Read guidelines...]