Divine Intervention

The tsunami in Indonesia in 2004 left a path of destruction that left little standing.  In the city of Banda Aceh, the only structure standing in many areas of the city was a mosque and as a result many lives were spared.  How did the mosques survive?  Was it the sturdy construction or was it, as some Muslims maintain, divine intervention?  Also, some Muslims believe the tsunami was God’s punishment for their lack of devotion to God. [1]

These beliefs of Muslims are no different that Christian responses to natural disasters.  We humans, regardless of our particular religious beliefs, have a tendency to attribute anything we cannot control or understand to God.  Is this response valid?  The 2004 tsunami killed around a quarter million people.  Did God determine he needed to kill this many people to persuade the survivors to be more religious?  If he did, that is a very brutal God.


[1]  Andi Jatmiko, “Mosques gave refuge in tsunami”, Tulsa World, December 24, 2014, p. A13.

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