Does God allow Satan to control natural catastrophes?

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God created the world perfect (Genesis 1) but when man yielded his allegiance to Satan, the latter brought evil and destruction upon this world (Genesis 3). God is not the perpetrator of evil (James 1:13-17). And He is still in control of all things, including nature (Colossians 1:17).

The Bible tells us that Satan is “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). This means that he has control, even though restricted, of the forces of nature, the elements of earth, and natural catastrophes. God permits Satan, demons, and humans to exercise their free will to do what they want (Joshua 24:15).

But that does not mean that God has abandoned sovereignty over the world. Satan’s power and control are limited. He exercises what power he has only by permission of an all-powerful God, and only so long as may be necessary for exhibiting the fruits of sin (1 Cor. 15:24–28; Rev. 12:12).

God does bring great good even out of the natural catastrophes. For nothing can befall the Christian except by our Lord’s permission and all things that are permitted work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28). If God permits suffering to come upon His children, it is not to destroy them but to refine them (Rom. 8:17).

The catastrophes and troubles of this life sets our priorities straight and take our attention from the world and lead us to look to heaven for our home. They teach us the truth about our weak and dying condition and cause us to depend on God for help and for salvation (1 Peter 5:7).

Job’s ten children died in natural catastrophes. Job’s wife urged him saying, “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). But Job said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). And he added, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). Even though Job was being tested, he kept his trust in God in spite of the tragedies he went through. As a result, after the test, God blessed him greatly for his steadfast faith (Job 42:12-16).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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