An Act of God?
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee (Job 1:16)
Many of us rightfully chastise the insurance companies that call natural disasters, “an act of God”. However, God has long been blamed for acts that He really had nothing to do with. When we read verses 6 to 12 of Job chapter 1, we learn that Satan made false accusations against God and Job. He then challenged God to prove him a liar by allowing him to destroy Job’s life. God reluctantly allowed this test in order to remove doubt about His and Job’s character from the minds of the watching angels.
The people during Job’s time had very little revelation of a being called Satan. Therefore, everything was attributed to God including the work of Satan. God Himself, using the modes of expression of the people of that time takes responsibility for Satan’s actions, even though He was not pleased with them (Job 1:11-12; 2:3). As some scholars have noted:
“Since there is no developed picture of a devil or satan in most of the Old Testament, God takes responsibility for everything, even for evil he might have prevented. God stands above opposing deities; his power is unsurpassable, according to the Hebrew Bible. And in that world of competing deities and rival religions, absolute control was essential. In other words, in order to meet ancient Israelites in terms they could understand in their world, God takes ultimate responsibility.”
The Old Testament believers had a good reason for attributing these things to God. They did not have a full revelation concerning the works of the devil that have been given since the time that Jesus manifested in the flesh. However, our Lord Jesus and His inspired writers of the New Testament have given us a fuller understanding of the true personality behind evil, including natural disasters. Therefore, we should stop blaming God, accepting evil, and stand against it by our authority in Christ.