by Dody Gibson

Another earthquake in the news this morning! This one, in Chile, measured 8.8 on the scale. The final numbers of destruction and loss of life will continue to pour in. Predictions of tsunamis or tidal waves are a frightening possibility in the next few days for a quarter of this planet.

We are still dealing with the devastating earthquake that shook the city of Port-au-Prince on Jan 12th earlier this year. As the world watched helplessly the death toll rose to 200,000 and still rising. Rescue efforts began immediately and up to two weeks later people still alive were being uncovered from the debris. Food and medical supplies collected and sent there were received by survivors who were dying from malnutrition, dehydration and disease. Yes, the world cares!

These are not the worse in our history. Two recorded in China, 1920 and 1976 estimated 200,000 deaths and another in Shaanxi, China in the year 1556 lists the dead at 830,000. Counts are questionable that early but China is a densely populated country and rescue efforts far less sophisticated than now as well as caring for the injured and dying. Death comes not only from mass destruction but also from the after effects resulting from untreated injury and physical necessity.

Blizzards, hurricanes, tornados or floods can be predicted with amazing accuracy giving the victims time to prepare or escape. But not earthquakes! Only seconds do we have to classify the danger and to yell a warning.

Certain areas are more prone to earthquakes and frequent tremors than others. Some time ago a news commentator stated that there was a 99% chance of one of a record-breaking degree to hit the San Andreas Fault in Southern California in the next 30 years. There are power companies and cities with densely populated areas all along this line and are unprepared. I heard one prediction that in an extreme possibility, a break along this fault could cause 1/3 of California to slip into the ocean.

These natural disasters will continue to take place. The Bible speaks of them often. Earthquakes are mentioned. Most were miraculous. Some were for punishment as in Numbers 16, when Korah and some 250 man, princes of renown among the congregation, rose up defying Moses leadership. The ground clave asunder beneath them and they were buried in a great earthquake, they and all their goods.

Some were blessed by this phenomena. We recall the night Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God, being beaten and thrust into the inner most part of the prison and confined in the most uncomfortable restraints with their freshly acquired lacerations and bruises. Yes, and they were singing! Suddenly about midnight, all the doors were opened and everyone’s bands were loosened. (Acts 16:23-26)

There is another mentioned in Matthew. This took place on the first day of the week. Graves were opened and many bodies of the saints arose and went into Jerusalem and appeared to others. Jesus also arose earlier as the angel rolled back the very heavy stone from the door of the tomb. (Matt. 27:51-53; 28:1-2) Amazing! What a day of rejoicing that was.

Jesus said, “And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places and famines and pestilences and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (Luke 21:11) These things are life. They happen to all of us, the good and the evil. A lack of preparation and the fatal realization that comes too late will be the destruction of many people. We can look at these as a reminder that a great and terrible final destruction will come on that last day. Yes, as terrible as these things are in our lifetime, there is one terror to end all terrors for those who doubted.

For this last one we are warned over and over in the Scriptures to be prepared. It is a lot like earthquake insurance. Very few have it because they don’t think they will need it. The vast percentage that do receive physical and property damage from this natural disaster may go out to get insured for the next one. We won’t have that opportunity when Jesus comes again. Now is the time to make sure you are covered. How does your policy read?

Cicero, a Roman statesman, once said, “History does repeat itself but it is not in human nature to recognize it until the disaster strikes.”
Millstadt, IL 62260

Dody Gibson See other articles by Dody Gibson