Indonesia Earthquake Kills 268

At least 268 were left dead with hundreds more injured following a devastating earthquake in the West Java province of Indonesia on November 21. Two thousand homes were destroyed along with, according to the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency, 343 buildings, including government offices, schools and religious houses.

Rising death toll: The earthquake triggered landslides that obstructed road access. Power outages mean doctors can’t operate on those with severe injuries. “There are residents trapped in isolated places,” said Gov. Ridwan Kamil, “so we are under the assumption that the number of injured and deaths will rise with time.”

Indonesia had an earthquake in 2003 that killed nearly 130,000 people.

Why “natural” disasters: Is there a reason for these earthquakes? The Bible shows that God has power over the rain, storms and earthquakes.

[T]he Lord has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers …. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
—Nahum 1:3-5

There is a reason He exercises this power: to get man’s attention. God wants us to see the curses that result when we are living contrary to His ways and we lack His protection and blessing. He wants the people of Indonesia and the entire world to turn to Him and obey His commandments. Weather- and nature-related disasters expose our fragility and our need for God. The message they send is meant for the entire planet. God wants all of us to repent of our sins that bring about misery.

Learn more: Read our booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters? to get the full perspective on such tragic events.