“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand” (Revelation 6:15-17 NKJV).
It is difficult to imagine a greater disaster than the one which occurred in Nepal, April 25, 2015. The nation was ravaged by a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale which shook the world’s highest mountain ranges, the Himalayas. Thousands died, tens of thousands suffered serious injury, and the damage to land, structure, and infrastructure amounts to many billions of dollars. Governments and relief agencies estimate the recovery process will take ten years or longer.
Though there have been many other earthquakes as well as hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, few if any in recorded history have been more massive and destructive than this one.
At the end of the first century after the coming of Christ, John was shown a series of visions. One series of seven seals portrayed a scene where all humans, from every class of society, fled for safety from the coming judgment of God. They hid in mountainous crevices and caves and begged for the rocks to fall and hide them from God’s wrath (Revelation 6:15-17).
I am sure that the people of Nepal – and anyone who has lived through a major earthquake – would have a very hard time imagining a circumstance where they would pray for the mountains to fall on them. They know exactly what that is like. It is the essence of terror, a horrible nightmare. That they survived may be considered by them to be miraculous.
But the Scripture says that another disaster is coming which will make that one look like deliverance. Those outside of Christ who see signs of his appearance will look back upon the earthquake as a much to be preferred alternative. They will plead, “Give us anything other than facing God in His wrath!” (Hebrews 10:31).
The Bible is emphatic that disasters such as the earthquake, though extremely powerful, have power only over our physical, mortal bodies. They cannot harm our eternal, immortal souls. In Christ we have the promise of eternal life in which nothing can harm us. “We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
We hear of insurance against all forms of disasters. We read of construction methods and materials designed to withstand extreme forces. Yet the fact is that nothing of a material nature is permanent. All can be damaged. All will ultimately be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10ff).
Only the soul is eternal. And only in Jesus Christ will that soul find eternal peace with God (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). Even if we suffer as the Nepalis have, we can have security knowing that God loves us and has promised to protect us. Nothing can deprive us of His care (Romans 8:31-39).