Christian Living Part II

Dr. Stan DeKoven Walk in Wisdom Ministries


More Words of Wisdom From My Friend and Colleague  Dr. Ken Chant of Australia

A Wall Fell Down in Jerusalem

Dr. Ken Chant


 A wall fell down in Jerusalem, killing eighteen people. Other people wondered if those who died were being punished for their sins? Jesus rejected that idea, but warned his hearers that they too would perish if they did not repent of their sins (Lu 13:1-5).

In a land (Australia) that was recently ravaged by floods greater in area than Germany and France combined, Jesus’ response so long ago remains informative. He refused the suggestion that such natural disasters must be God’s judgment upon sin, but also warned that we should take them as a call to repentance.


So although a nation may be reeling under the impact of flood, drought, and fire, and facing pestilence, famine, and war, we must resist those who try to blame God. It’s just life. We live on a wild and untamed planet, and among a cluster of unruly and power hungry nations. The world has been racked and torn by far worse natural catastrophes countless times across the millennia, and has suffered and will continue to suffer from wars, revolutions, civil strife and crime.

On the matter of natural disasters, it must also be obvious, if people choose to build homes on land that is subject to flood, fire, or earthquakes, that they can hardly blame God when the inevitable happens. Take San Francisco. Only one thing is more predictable than that city will sooner or later be shredded by a worse ’quake than the one in 1906, along with enormous loss of life and property. What is that one other predictable thing? Simply this − thousands of people will howl a protest against God and demand to know why he allowed, or even caused, such misery! Yet what folly! They know it must happen. Yet they live there, hoping it won’t happen in their lifetime.

Similarly, the city of Brisbane (in Australia) sits on a flood plain, which has been flooded countless times in the past, and will be flooded again in the future. There is not much sense in blaming God for an inevitable natural event, nor asking him to stop it from happening, nor expecting him to protect one from it. If you choose to live there, put up with being flooded!

Nonetheless, some accused God in anger, calling him vindictive or unjust or even helpless, because he either caused or allowed the floods that ravaged at least half of Queensland and nearly half of Victoria. Others piously declare that such events are all acts of divine providence from which we should learn many lessons. But whether they are pious or angry, such people are saying more than they can possibly know. I doubt that the Lord has sent them any personal message revealing what he is thinking or doing. We have only the scriptures, which tell us only that such disasters may be decreed by God, but also that they may not be!

In any case, our mindset is very little like the highly fatalistic view of life that was endemic in ancient Israel, and is reflected everywhere in the Old Testament. We are deeply shaped by the more modern culture of the New Testament, where the focus is on personal responsibility, not divine decree, and in which the old fatalism has almost vanished.

Yet there are indications in the Old Testament of what was to come −


The issues today are the same as those raised in Job at least 3,000 years ago. After listening to several hours of debate, God was finally aroused to anger against all the characters in the story – against Job’s three friends, because they kept on insisting that the patriarch’s tragedies must be caused by sin; and against Job, because he was righteous in his own sight.

Nonetheless, although he rebuked both Job and his friends, the Lord refused to give any reason for Job’s sufferings, nor for the horrible deaths of his sons and daughters, nor for the violent murder of his servants, shepherds, and gardeners. He offered no justification for allowing such awful things to happen. God did not reveal whether or not they came from his hand (at least, not until much later, when Satan’s part in the events was revealed). The Lord declined to explain either his activity or inactivity – he simply showed his glory to Job and to his companions. They were struck silent. They got no answers from God; but they lost their questions!


So in our world, heaven will not tell us whether or not a divine hand is stirring up the elements, nor if disasters are wholly natural events, nor why they happen to some and not to others, nor why, in the middle of horror, some are incredibly rescued while others miserably perish.

To all human “whys” heaven will remain as silent now as it was to the agonised cry of Jesus at Calvary, “Why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46) The only word we will hear is a call to repentance for those who are strangers to the Lord, and a call for trust to those who love him. In the end, no matter what is happening, every believer must emulate Christ, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Lu 23:46).

 Please leave you questions and comments…. God Bless until next time.

Dr. Ken Chant

Buy your copy today….

Leave a Reply