One of the advantages of knowing history is to be able to see "the big picture" and not get lost in current events. Next Christmas seems like a long time coming to a 5-year-old, but it's a blink of an eye to a 55-year-old. So too modern earthquakes seem frightening to the one who doesn't read history, but to the bibliophile 5.1 earthquakes gentle reminders that the rock on which we live is fundamentally cataclysmic.
I recently read Earth in Upheaval and Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky, the greatest Russian scientist of all time. Velikovsky with painstaking and thorough scientific historiography shows that the Earth has suffered natural catastrophes on a global scale throughout mankind's recorded history. The evidence for these catastrophes is not only in the written record of mankind, it is corroborated in the geological record. Velikovsky advocates Catastrophic history as opposed to modern Uniformitarian ideas. Velikovsky shows the extinction of many of earth's animal species has occurred catastrophically and not by gradual Darwinian means.
If you can't buy Velikovsky books, at least go to Amazon and read the reviews. Albert Einstein had Worlds In Collision open on his desk when he died. Clifton Fadiman, the former editor-in-chief of the Reader's Digest, said that Velikovsky writings were "50 times better than most of his critics," and went on to predict that because of Velikovsky work, "99% of the books on geology, archeology and ancient history would have to be rewritten."
The Bible teaches the world has experienced major catastrophes throughout mankind's history. For example, in 2348 B.C. God orchestrated a series of cataclysms that changed the axis of the earth, forged volcanic mountain ranges, and flooded the land masses. Velikovsky, who was not a Christian, uses the writings of ancients to show that "the sun used to rise in the west and set in the east" and through catastrophes on earth caused by stellar movements (see Worlds in Collision), the seasons, the months, and earth's days changed in duration.
Does the Bible confirm Velikovsky's propositions? Well, we read that the Flood started "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month . . ." (Genesis 7:11), and that it "prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days" (v.24). "And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat" (8:4).
Between the second month's seventeenth day and the seventh month's seventeenth day were 150 days. Thus five months averaging thirty days each were involved. It may be that a very regular order of days (a consistent 30 day period for yearly months) is the "very good" and orderly arrangement of original creation (Genesis 1:31). Today's 365¼ day year very well could be an alteration of the original created order caused caused by great cataclysmic events occurring in space and on earth. What could happen to change Earth's orbit? More specifically, Who can change the Earth's orbit?
The Psalmist declares:
"You Lord have made the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair its breaches, for it totters." (Psalm 60:2)God spoke through the prophet Isaiah:
"Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of his fierce anger." (Isaiah 13:13).Nahum declares:
"The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. " (Nahum 1:5).When Jesus Christ died, the earth shook.
"At the moment Christ died, the curtain of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split." (Matthew 27:51).There is evidence of this great 30 AD earthquake throughout the geological record of the Middle East. It is without doubt that earthquakes are designed as reminders of God's judgment. At the cross, God shook the earth to remind us of what Paul wrote in II Corinthians 5:19.
"For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation."
- Every earthquake should remind us that this earth is a place of catastrophe.
- Every earthquake should remind us that the greatest catastrophe is not being right with God.
- Every earthquake should remind us of the cross where God gave His Son for your sins which are the reasons you are alienated from God.
- Every earthquake should remind us that rejecting Christ and His death is the ultimate catastrophe, for it is a rejection of the only means whereby sinners are made right with God.
- Every earthquake should remind us that if we put our trust in Christ and His eternal grace, then when "the things of this world" are catastrophically gone, He and His eternal grace remain.