Q: Many have criticized Pat Robertson’s suggestion that the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti was the work of the devil or a form of divine punishment. But if one believes God is good and intervenes in the world, why does God allow innocents to suffer? What is the best scriptural text or explanation of that problem you’ve ever read?
The Creator of the universe has His own purposes and is not required to explain them to us. But if one is looking for a “reason” why natural disasters happen, it is because the world is fallen. God did not make the world the way it is with fault lines running through the earth and through our hearts. We did by seeking our own way, inviting sin into perfect lives (Adam and Eve) and a perfect environment (The Garden of Eden). Even so, God has promised not only a home in Heaven for those who receive Jesus Christ, but also meaning and purpose for living this life in the midst of and beyond our circumstances.
Dispensationalists believe God favors some countries and people over others and that he rewards and punishes those who please or displease Him. That false belief is the source of the outrageous Pat Robertson statement. But as Paul wrote, even while we were yet sinners, God sent His Son to die for us. If God could commit such a gracious act for our redemption when we had no concern for Him, why would he reign down judgment on Haitians and not on Saudi Arabians, whose extreme religion supports terrorism around the world?
It is a stupid and incorrect assertion.