God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. Psalm 46:1-2
In retirement I've taken a look at various other jobs that sound appealing.
One that was recently taken off the list is being a scientist who sits on Italy's National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks.
If you're wondering what a scientist on that commission would do, the answer is pretty simple: his job is to predict and warn people about natural, national disasters. And the reason I don't want that job? It's mainly because six scientists and a government official were recently convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison.
It appears they didn't give a strong enough warning about a 2009 earthquake, which destroyed the central part of the ancient city of L'Aquila. In that earthquake 300 people died, 1,000 were injured, and tens of thousands of buildings were destroyed.
The government maintains numerous small tremors should have motivated the scientists to give a strong warning to the residents of L'Aquila. Maybe. I don't know. It seems to me when you live in an old town with old buildings, which aren't earthquake-proof, and you know your town has been partially destroyed three times in the past by earthquakes, well, when you start to feel the earth rocking under your feet, you shouldn't need a commission to get you out of town.
Truly, I feel sorry for those scientists. Predicting earthquakes has to be harder than forecasting the weather. Should those scientists copy the meteorologists that appear on TV? Should they give reports which say, "There's a 40 percent chance of tremors in the morning, with a 24 percent possibility of a serious shudder taking place after midnight?"
Earthquake predictors just aren't that good; they're not that knowledgeable.
As far as I know, the only person who has the kind of wisdom that can see a future earthquake or a future anything is the Lord. Thankfully, even though our sin has transformed His perfect world into a place of catastrophe and calamity, He is still kindly disposed to us.
He is our refuge and strength. Indeed, He is our only help in times of trouble, even if that trouble is the kind that comes when the earth gives way and the mountains start sliding into the sea. He is our refuge and strength, and His Son is our Redeemer, the One whose life, death and resurrection has saved us from the damnation and destruction of hell. For all the Lord has done and continues to do, we offer our thanks.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, so many people blame You for the world's disastrous events. May they realize it is our sins that have set into motion these forces. May they come to know that, in Jesus, You have rescued and redeemed us from this world's disasters and eternity's destruction. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries