For updated information from the front lines of Gospel-driven relief efforts, please visit http://gbcpapillion.org/haiti/. Also, please consider making a donation to this cause via this link.
(By David Giarrizzo)
As I watch the video footage
streaming in from disaster-stricken Haiti and read about the terrible plight of its people, my heart breaks for them. As I write these words, morbid thoughts of dead and dying people flood my mind: men and women, infants and aged trapped beneath piles of rubble, striving to breathe, unable to move, completely helpless; many dead, many dying, and we pray still for many to be saved. I am reminded of the words of Job in Job 30:24-25
Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
and in his disaster cry for help?
Did not I weep for him whose day was hard?
Was not my soul grieved for the needy?”
A Planet in Peril
A simple web search of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, using Google Maps shows a world of devastation: cracks in the earth, buildings broken and crumbled, shipment containers in the bay—all visible signs of a powerful quake beneath an unstable island. As a society we have come up with terms for these kinds of events: “natural disasters” or “Mother Nature’s fury” or even, “the effects of Global Warming.” But as believers, we have a different understanding of events like the earthquake in Haiti.
We have all heard the news media call Earth, “a planet in peril.” Sadly, this is a true statement; however not in a geological sense, but a spiritual one. Earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis: these are the effects of the Fall. Disasters are not natural because death is not natural. Death came with the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3. We know from Romans 5:12 that death came as a consequence of sin. Therefore, the death of men—in any quantity, small or large—should remind us as sons of Adam and daughters of Eve that we are all sinners in need of salvation, dead men in need of eternal life (Romans 3:23). The Bible clearly teaches that natural men who are dead in their trespasses and sin are under the holy condemnation of the Almighty God and are merely vessels of His wrath (Romans 1:18; 2:5, 8, 9; 9:22). Thus, this world is indeed a planet in peril!
Enter the Gospel of Christ.
What an analogy we are presented with, aren’t we?—Helpless people trapped in dire situations while rescuers seek to help them out of their present conditions with God all the while directing the rescuers’ efforts. This sounds like Gospel missions!
There is only one hope for dead sinners; it is Jesus Christ. Just as Lazarus would have never walked out of his tomb but for the divine power of God calling him out (John 11), so sinful man will never know life eternal without the power of God effectually drawing him out of his sinful condition, giving him a new heart, and breathing new life into him. Because Christ is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), spiritually dead men have hope.
As believers, we have a responsibility to take the Good News to all people (Mark 16:15). If Christ is the answer to the most basic problem of man (sin), then those of us who have been bought by Christ’s blood have an obligation tell others about our Savior. This is the best thing any of us can do when earthquakes and hurricanes come. Let us point people to the cross of Christ for their salvation.
We pray for the people in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere in Haiti, for God to comfort the mourning and call sinners to repentance. We pray for the Lord to send teams of rescuers to find and save those who still survive. We pray for their safety as they travel to Haiti to sift through the rubble, as they seek the living, heal the hurting, and bury the dead. We pray that the Lord will give them strength and stamina and great success in their mission. And most importantly, we pray for the Gospel to go forth in Haiti and throughout the rest of the world through Haiti’s calamity. May we as disciples of the one-and-only Messiah be faithful to preach the truth with hearts full of loving concern for sinners destined for Hell.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
While the unbelieving world observes a disaster such as this and asks “What?” and “How?” and “Why?”, let us boldly acknowledge the sovereignty of God in the midst of a saddened and confused society (Amos 3:6). Let us acknowledge all of the attributes of God as we seek to provide answers for the wondering, searching masses of people looking for answers to the world’s problems. As Christians we have the answers through Jesus Christ and the written Word (2 Timothy 3:16). May we humbly and diligently share the love of God and the mercy of Christ and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to the lost and dying world.
For related thoughts on the earthquake in Haiti, see these recent posts.
Follow this link to donate to a Gospel-driven relief effort based in the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s neighbor.
If you have serious questions about God and His role in the earthquake in Haiti, please take a moment to read this helpful article by Rev. Albert Mohler.
Additionally, let us join together as the universal Body of Christ and seek the Lord in prayer on behalf of the people of this hurting country. May many come to know Christ through this catastrophe.