Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: Burbank HomeCollectionsGod

In Theory:

A question of retribution

January 30, 2010

A nation of desperate and grieving people showed the fervency of their faith this past weekend. Haitians mourned an archbishop, prayed in an open-air revival and, later in the day, witnessed a miracle. But some have said that the fate that has befallen Haiti is the ire of God. Others, like Archbishop of Santo Domingo Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, “has firmly rejected the idea that the tragedy in Haiti was a punishment from God,” according to an article in Catholic News Agency. What is your opinion? Was the earthquake in Haiti a punishment from God to the Haitian people? What does your religion teach about “punishments from God?” And is there such thing as being “punished” by God?

Jesus told his disciples that during this age before his return many dramatic events like wars, plagues, famines and earthquakes must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately” (Luke 21:9). He taught that the death of 18 people from the collapse of a tower wasn’t because they were “worse culprits” than others living in Jerusalem. Solomon observed: “I have seen everything during my lifetime . . . there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness” (Ecclesiastes 7:15).

Advertisement

We always reap what we sow — ultimately, eternally. But sometimes in this life innocent people suffer and wicked people prosper. Christians look to the return of Jesus Christ to rectify what has gone horribly wrong in this world.

Does God punish? He told the prophet Isaiah he would: “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity” (Isaiah 13:11).

If God didn’t ultimately punish wickedness he wouldn’t be holy. Sodom and Gomorrah are biblical examples of God’s direct punishment of nations, as are Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Edom, Moab, Aram, Ethiopia, Arabia and Tyre.

When God states directly that an act is punishment, then it is. But when we see calamity we cannot automatically make that assumption — sometimes tragedies just happen.

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles
|
|
|