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When a natural disaster comes, many people wonder whether God sent it. Some Bible teachers say yes and some say no. The Bible book of Joel reveals a pattern of how God often deals with people in any age. God was dissatisfied with ancient Israel. They kept violating their covenant promise to live according to its terms. First, God warned them to repent and turn from their evil. When they did not, God sent a natural disaster of locusts to devour their crops. God then told them if they repented, He would remove the locusts, give them good crops, and even drive away their enemies. He even said that one day He would pour out His Spirit upon all of them; and “everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” But those who persisted in their evil could expect even greater disasters. In fact, God said He would one day send such devastating disasters that the entire creation would be affected. It is beyond us to know when and how God chooses to use natural disasters to stir repentance, punish evildoers, or refine our character, yet it is naïve to think He can’t or won’t. God is sovereign. That is why it pays to be on the right side of the God. We establish a right relationship with God when we repent of our sins and accept His Son as our Savior and Lord.

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