13 January 2010

Haiti: Where are you O LORD?

As the news of the Haiti earthquake broke yesterday, Reuters reported this:

Panic-stricken residents filled the streets desperately trying to dig people from rubble or seeking missing relatives as dark fell shortly after the quake.

"People were screaming 'Jesus, Jesus' and running in all directions," Delva said.

A major earthquake, of magnitude 7 or higher, is capable of causing widespread and heavy damage.

It isn't hard to read between the lines. "O the pain and destruction! Where is your God now?" Throughout the world, the question resounds to the faithful. Our response must be biblically accurate and, accordingly, filled with compassion.

After the Tsunami in 2004, John Piper provided tremendous grounding for both in a sermon to Bethlehem Baptist and an interview with NPR. I would encourage you to review both. The NPR interview is amazing in content and countenance (you'll note that the interviewer is rattled throughout) - if you don't have time for both, listen to the interview today or download the .mp3.

Here's a summary of Piper's main points in both the sermon and the interview:
  1. Satan is not ultimate, God is.
  2. Even if Satan caused the earthquake in the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas, he is not the decisive cause of 100,000+ deaths, God is.
  3. Destructive calamities in this world mingle judgment and mercy.
  4. The heart that Christ gives to his people feels compassion for those who suffer, no matter what their faith.
  5. Finally, Christ calls us to show mercy to those who suffer, even if they do not deserve it.
Show Mercy
Many relief organizations have already established funds for earthquake relief in Haiti. Help.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3.16–18)

Some respected relief organizations
Compassion International
A video from Compassion president, Wess Stafford on Jan 15th, 2010

Samaritan's Purse
American Red Cross
A nice collection organizations from the Desiring God blog

Adoption organizations that work in Haiti (to think about after the news is gone)
Haiti Adoption through Bethany Christian Services

Additional Resources
Does God Hate Haiti? - a piece from Al Mohler (in response to Pat Robertson)
Randy Alcorn interviewed at Justin Taylor's blog regarding his latest book "If God is Good..."
Jesus in Haiti - a poem by Piper


  1. Mitch - on the topic, do you have a response to Pat Robertson's "pact with the Devil" comments that are hitting the news today?

  2. Well, Robertson's comments stir neither compassion (1 John 3:16-18) nor repentance (Luke 13:1-5). So I am pretty sure they miss the mark.

    "do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” - Jesus