Friday, February 19, 2010 Posted by Shattered Paradigm
By Chaplain Ed Donnally
In the midst of an outpouring of compassion created when a horrific earthquake in Haiti decimated its capital, killed some 200,000, and left the already impoverished nation in shambles, the spiritual meaning and Biblical significance of earthquakes themselves becomes a subject with prophetic implications. Revelation is clear that the greatest earthquake of all time will take place when Christ returns to earth. Christ proclaimed an abundance of earthquakes during the end times.
Biblically, earthquakes portend a fresh revelation in the heavens, one that shakes loose a corresponding change on earth and typically brings God presence to spreads his Word. More important than why the earthquake in Haiti happened is what will happen now and what will happen there in the future. The Bible offers several answers.
God clearly punished idol worshiping Old Testament Israelites with calamities ranging from floods and snake bite to locus and leprosy. Yet Solomon said, “Time and chance happens to them all,” and “It rains on the just and the unjust.” It’s clear that the fall of man not only brought chaos to man but to the earth. A key verse and one that speaks directly to Haiti is Romans 8:21-22 “Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”
Isaiah 14, which discusses the reasons Lucifer fell from heaven, indicates that Satan has the authority to cause earthquakes. Vs. 14 asks rhetorically, “Is this the man (Satan) who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms. . .?” To a degree of surety, it is impossible to know in every instance the mind of God. It is pure conjecture to speculate that God, Satan or the earth’s fallen state caused the earthquake in Haiti, or the Tsunami in Indonesia, or the recent El Nino that brought much needed rain to the San Joaquin Valley. The same rain that will make our vegetable cheaper next summer also caused some Christian homes to fill with mud.
It is far more important is to understand the prophetic implications of earthquakes and act accordingly. The exact moment Jesus yielded up his earthly spirit on the cross (Matt. 27:51) “. . . the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.” The very instant God gave man access to the Holy of Holies of God’s presence through Christ’s sacrifice, the fallen earth reacted with an earthquake and a force that split rocks. And when the pagan Roman Soldiers witnessed the earth’s reaction “They feared, greatly, saying ‘Truly, this was the Son of God.’”
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see Christ’s tomb. . . “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it.” The earthquake was earth’s reaction to heaven’s announcement that Christ had escaped the tomb and overcome death. And after the angel’s announced that Christ had risen, the women “ . . . went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word (vs 8). Christ rose, the angel caused a “great earthquake,” on earth and when he announced the victory, the women literally ran to spread the good news.
And then there is the story in Acts 16 when Paul and Silas were jailed for interfering with Philippi’s commerce by casting out a demon. While praying and singing, and with all the prisoners listening, there came a “great earthquake,” that shook the prison’s foundation and loosened their chains. But instead of acting in the flesh and racing out, Paul announced to the jailer, about to commit suicide because he would be killed when his superior discovered the escape, that they were still THERE. And the reaction to the announcement? The jailer actually asked “What must I do to be saved?” The earthquake was not only a reaction that heaven had opened the doors to the spiritual freedom of salvation in Philippi, but had prepared hearts to receive it, in part because they were still THERE.
Yet perhaps the most prophetic earthquake occurred on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19 and 20). Moses went up the mountain on “the third day” when God promised to reveal Himself. Moses and the rest heard thunder and saw the mountain completely engulfed in smoke “like the smoke of a furnace.” Still, the leader swallowed his fear and went up to hear from God, who spoke the words “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage (20:1).” Scripture records that when “the trumpet became louder and louder, (in apparent chaos) Moses spoke and God answered him by voice. Then the Lord CALLED Moses to the top of the mountain, AND MOSES WENT UP.”
And what did Moses receive? The law, a standard of conduct that was fulfilled in Christ, his Great Commission and His commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The earthquake in Haiti is like many in the Bible. Through it, God has proclaimed that He is calling us to the top of His mountain and we are to go despite the smoke and thunder. This earthquake is also heaven’s proclamation that we have direct access to God’s presence, we serve a risen Christ and we are to run with the Good News. After all, the foundation has been shaken, chains loosened and hearts prepared.
The groaning of the earth in Haiti, however horrible and no matter the cause, is also the birth pains of Romans 8, heralding the birth of deliverance “from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”