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What Does the Bible Say About..Blaming God for Disasters?

God has the power to stop hazardous weather from killing his creation: humans. Isn't God a murderer if he allows a hurricane, earthquake, or a tornado to get near humans to kill them?

Answer

Please see What Does the Bible Say About..Blaming God? for a partial answer to this question. That answer was mostly about things people do that result in death. In this case, though, you are asking about natural events, rather than the results of peoples’ bad choices. Even so, your question is really about the bad choices we make.

I believe that God exercises a certain amount of control in the world. But I also believe that God set some things in motion at creation with which he does not normally interfere. Among those things is the weather. The reason we can make accurate (or reasonably accurate) predictions of the weather is that God does not regularly interfere with his laws in nature. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and even earthquakes follow certain rules that God instituted at creation. He could interfere with those rules every time a storm approached some place where man was. Instead he expects man to use some of the intelligence he gave them. If people choose to live in an area where tornadoes are common, they are choosing to take a risk. If they lose that risk, that is not God’s fault but theirs.

In July, 1998, National Geographic published a map of areas where natural disasters were prone to occur. Interestingly, the areas with the greatest concentrations of storms, earthquakes, and other such events were also the areas with the highest human population. They were places like Los Angeles, Mexico City, the Mississippi valley, and the “Ring of Fire.” If a person loses his life because he lives in such a place it is the result of somebody’s bad choice, not God’s intentional act.

Looking at your question from a different direction, God could not be accused of murder for failure to interfere with his creation. Is the manufacturer of alcohol, guns, or automobiles liable if someone misuses their product? The person who attaches doors to Ford automobiles is not a murderer if somebody else chooses to drive that car into a wall, or a crowded mall. God cannot be accused of murder if people choose to ignore or misuse his creation.