The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. -- Revelation 9: 20-21 (ESV)
It seems inevitable that whenever there is a natural disaster in this country some Christians take it upon themselves to speak for God when He has not spoken. The result is often confusion in the body and a further distancing of the lost from the vehicle God has chosen to deliver the Gospel, the church. Many can be dismissed out of hand because of the overall false nature of the messenger but the real dangerous messages are the ones that mix just enough truth to hook the reader with absolute unbiblical nonsense. The most recent example can be found above, written by someone named David Servant, whose biography indicates decades of pastoral service. Sadly then, he should know better. Let us reason together through his article entitled, "The Divine Message Hidden Within These Hurricanes."
My intent is to skip the first portion of this article as it primarily addresses things that are absolutely correct. I do want to acknowledge that though. Servant spends a great deal of time dealing with the truth that many preachers today have abandoned preaching the wrath of God. That the messages are always about love and puppies and rainbows. I agree wholeheartedly. He recounts a sad story of an interaction with a mega church pastor when asked about whether we should preach the wrath of God responded that he was called to preach the "Good" News. How profoundly depressing that someone who is responsible for the eternal destinations of so many does not realize that wrath and judgment are part of the Good News. That you cannot even get to the "goodness" of the news without explaining about sin and its consequences. He correctly summarizes that without the wrath of God there is no Gospel. Unfortunately however he starts to go off the rails from there:
But what does the Bible say regarding the source of hurricanes? -- David Servant
He goes on to list several Scriptures, including Jonah 1 Ezekiel 13, Haggai 2, and Jeremiah 31. It is true that all of these speak about God orchestrating great storms and mighty winds. Most are familiar with the storm in Jonah. Here is the first problem with his connection. The Bible does not indicate that these were hurricanes. Granted, that is a word that only dates back to the 16th century but does anyone remember reading the story of Jonah and thinking the storm was a hurricane? This is what is called an assumption and not a particularly good one. The second logical disconnect is that pointing out four instances in 6000 years of history does not lead us to conclude that God is the 'source" of hurricanes. Now if you wish to make the argument that God in His sovereignty is always in control of His creation -- no problem. That brings us to His permissive will. There is no question that God "permitted" the recent hurricanes. That does not mean He is the "source"; which implies intent. Servant continues:
What could have possibly motivated God to send (or refuse to stop) such a devastating wind on the scale of Katrina to the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, doing incalculable damage, and causing almost unimaginable human suffering? The only logical and biblical possibility is that God was motivated by anger. His anger, of course, is not senseless, but always justified by people's rebellion against His commandments. -- David Servant