Jan 25, 2010

The Haiti Earthquake

Todd StrandbergBy Todd Strandberg

The earthquake that struck the nation of Haiti was so destructive that it has taken several days for the world to get a grasp of what has happened. The trembler was a monster by historic standards. The quake killed an estimated 200,000 people. So far, 150,000 bodies have been buried in mass graves by a UN recovery operation. The total does not account for corpses buried by relatives or bodies yet to be found.

I could tell right away that it would be a major event. The seismic event hit a perfect bull’s eye, with a 7.0 magnitude, a depth of only three miles, and a location only nine miles from the Haitian capital.

In the book of Mark, Jesus warned that the last days would be the tail end of an exponential surge of activity. The Lord mentioned a great variety of signs, then He said these signs will be like "birth pangs."

As the birth of a baby approaches, the birth pangs increase two ways: They increase in frequency and intensity. Thus, Jesus was saying that the closer we get to the time of His return, the more frequent and intense the signs will become. There will be more earthquakes, and more intense ones. Likewise, things like famine, pestilence, and war will increase in frequency and intensity.

"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs" (Mark 13:8 RVS).
I strongly believe the Haitian disaster is part of the end-times birth pangs. We are now at a point of seeing many earthquakes at record-high levels. Just look at the last ten years:
  • Jan. 26, 2001 - India - 20,000 Deaths - 7.9 Magnitude
  • Dec.. 23, 2003 - Bam, Iran - 30,000 Deaths - 6.6 Magnitude
  • Dec. 26, 2004 - Indonesia - 270,000 Deaths - 9.6 Magnitude
  • Oct. 8, 2005 - Kashmir, Pakistan - 55,000 Deaths - 7.6 Magnitude
  • May 12, 2008 - Sichuan, China - 70,000 Deaths - 7.9 Magnitude
  • Sept. 30, 2009 - Sumatra - 1100 Deaths - 7.6 Magnitude
  • Jan. 12, 2010 - Haiti - 200,000+ Deaths - 7.0 Magnitude
It was just few years ago that a great quake struck Indonesia. That event generated a tsunami that killed 270,000 people. The last time we had a death toll of 200,000 was in 1976. The one previous to that was in 1927. The time gap shows the birth pang increase. Working backwards, we have a time gap of 5, 29, and 49 for those three events.

Normally, we could say by the frequency of earthquakes in the past that it will be many years before we suffer another super quake. There have been times when there weren’t ever major quakes. The Rapture Ready Earthquakes Timeline shows that between 1950 and 1960, there was no major loss of life from seismic activity. There was another gap between 1960 and 1970.

Some people might say the death toll is going up because the population has increased over the years. That is a factor, but you can’t account for a rapid increase in deadly quakes. The one that caused greatest loss of life actually occurred 454 years ago. In 1556, a quake in Shansi, China, killed 830,000 people.

I don’t think we are going to see any let-up in the number of destructive earthquakes. We have reached the point at which every year is visited by some form military conflict, economic unrest, or natural disaster.

Last week, Pat Robertson generated an uproar after he said the Haiti earthquake was the result of the Haitian people making a pact with the devil. I tend to agree with Robertson that there is a demonic reason for why Haiti has been hopelessly linked to calamity; however, it was very poor timing to blame people while they are suffering. One of the most fundamental rules of any organization is to do no harm to your own cause. Robertson has repeatedly violated this common-sense principle. His remarks have given plenty of fuel to anti-Christian liberals and late-night comedians.

Jesus was told about some worshipers from Galilee who were killed by Pilate and how Pilate put their blood in with the blood of their sacrifice. Jesus didn’t say, "They were pagans, so they got what they deserved." He said,
“Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?…I tell you no…but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.. Or those 18 on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem ? I tell you no…but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Lk.. 13:2-5).
We should look at the Haiti earthquake as a warning of our own need to be ready for eternity. The hour is late; the rapture is imminent. It could literally take place at any moment. As we see the birth pangs occurring, we need to be focused on the “now.”
“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation)” (2 Cor. 6:1-2).

Related Links

The Haiti Earthquake: Was Pat Robertson Right? - Bible Prophecy Today (Randy Alcorn)
Italy's Disaster Chief Blasts 'Pathetic' U.S. Aid Work in Haiti - FOX News
Does God Hate Haiti? - Bible Prophecy Today (Albert Mohler)
Supernatural Lessons from a Natural Disaster - Grace to You (John MacArthur)