Recent world news has focused our attention on the deadly and destructive natural disasters in Japan and Ecuador, all this in addition to the daily horrors of civil and culture-driven bloodshed. What is God’s guide to prompt our prayers for the peoples in the throes of chaos and death from these earthquakes? Perhaps one “window” is Elijah’s experience with God in 1 Kings 19:10. Elijah flees to Sinai, fearing for his life. The LORD tells him to “Go out and stand before me on the mountain”. The LORD passes by with the display of a great windstorm, a rumbling earthquake, and a raging fire, but the Lord is not in those things. Instead He speaks to Elijah in the sound of a gentle whisper… a “still small voice”!
In contrast the Bible speaks of two significant earthquakes which take place at the crucifixion and at the resurrection of Jesus. A Roman soldier experiences the first. They were terrified by the earthquake and recognized that ‘This man truly was the Son of God!’ [Matthew 27:54]. Later those early Christ-followers affirm, “Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it.” [Matthew 28:2]
Use the Scriptures this week to pray for the people of Japan and Ecuador. Ask God that hearts will be stilled to hear His voice and respond, knowing He is Creator God. Pray that people will hear of Jesus and know of His great love for them in giving up His life that they may live, and that Creator God is Lord of Heaven’s Armies and He will fight for them. Spend some time in personal worship, thanking God for His promises in the great earthquakes of your own life.
Then amid the uncertainties of your life and this world affirm these promises:
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.” [Psalm 46:1,2]
“I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will act for you with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and storm and consuming fire.” [Isaiah 29:6]