Baptist minister John Piper has decided to explain to us all why God would send deadly tornadoes to “rural America,” where all the good people and Real Americans live, rather than to New York or Las Vegas or some other place filled with godless sodomites and sinners. But first he wants to make absolutely clear that God did it on purpose:
We do not ascribe such independent power to Mother Nature or to the devil. God alone has the last say in where and how the wind blows. If a tornado twists at 175 miles an hour and stays on the ground like a massive lawnmower for 50 miles, God gave the command.
“The wind of the Lord, shall come, rising from the wilderness, and it shall strip Ephraim’s treasury of every precious thing” (Hosea 13:15).
“The Lord turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea” (Exodus 10:19).
“God appointed a scorching east wind” (Jonah 4:8).
“God commanded and raised the stormy wind” (Psalm 107:25).
“Even winds and sea obey Jesus” (Matthew 8:27).
I love the smell of outdated beliefs in the morning. Mankind used to all believe in this kind of thing. Without an explanation for things that scared us, like terrible storms, we invented gods to make it all make sense. The tornado hit because the God of the Wind was angry with us. And lightning struck our home and started a fire because the Lightning God was angry with us. And then monotheism came along and collected all of these various nature gods and combined them together. And it’s still nonsense.
But Piper not only knows that God sent the wind, but he knows why. Or rather, he doesn’t know why, but he thinks not knowing why is the answer to the question of why. Or something.
Job’s ten children died because “a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people” (Job 1:19).
Job cries out to God, “Why have you made me your mark? . . . Why do you hide your face and count me as your enemy? . . . Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?” (Job 7:20; 13:24; 21:7).
In other words, Why Henryville, and not Hollywood?
God’s answer to Job is not that he was a worse sinner than the “wicked” — or that Maryville had some dark secret.
His answer was, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’” (Romans 11:33–34; Job 15:8; 36:22f).
Job’s loss was not a measure of his immorality. “Job was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1).
In fact, perhaps God chose Job for that deadly wind because only the likes of Job would respond: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
So there’s his explanation, which is that you don’t need an explanation, you impudent child, and you better sing praises to the guy who just killed your family or he’ll do it again! God as a narcissistic sadist.