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A Year of Disasters

First the Tsunami (ok end of last year), then Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, then an earthquake in Pakistan. Between them enormous loss of life and property.

Perhaps the first question that comes to mind is 'why?'. I shared my viewpoint of this in January. This is just as applicable to other events as to the Tsunami.

There is another question I have - with all these events, for those who survived who was least taken care of? I'll answer like this:

  • There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11.

Therefore we are all impacted. Those impacted directly terribly so. Those not impacted directly are being tested. Consider:

  • He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31.
  • He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:17.
  • He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. Proverbs 28:27.
  • The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. Proverbs 29:7.

So for those of us with the means to give, non-response is clearly not an option. And this doesn't apply to just disaster responses - this is true all the time.

I'll end with this thought:

  • Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:6-8.

John Bell
November 5th 2005
Irvine, California, USA.

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