I remember reading somewhere that the reason there are natural disasters on this earth is because of the evil which was allowed into it when Adam and Eve sinned. I have not been able to find this reference, though.

Has anyone else seen this, and are there any biblical references saying that natural disasters are caused by evil?

  • 1
    The answer depends on how you define "natural disasters." Most disasters (even 9-11) are "good" from a certain perspective. Many (perhaps all) natural disasters serve functions absolutely necessary for the existence of life on Earth. Forrest fires and hurricanes come to mind as obvious examples. I think @WhatAboutJohn3_17's answer is right on target, by addressing our suffering, rather than "disasters."
    – Flimzy
    Aug 29, 2011 at 22:10
  • the life is so fragile (Is 40:15), only care of God can sustain it .. but sometimes when God turn his face from the world, because of the human sin, disasters happen .. also, the world is like a garden with herbs and fruits and thistles .. and sometimes, the Gardener need to clean it to not lose fruits and good seeds
    – Iulian
    Nov 17, 2012 at 3:51

3 Answers 3


I see ALL destruction as God breathed.

All destruction and decay is because sin entered the world, before sin, this world was perfect. So how did all of this decay, destruction, evil get into the world and where does it come from?

Well, to some extent it is true that without God these things will happen, the problem you have with that theology, is that EVERYTHING was/is created by God and EVERYTHING is sustained by Him. Literally nothing that is, exists outside of God.

Colossians 1:17 (NIV)

17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

God is set against the wicked every day. He is constantly set against His enemies, He promises to never give them rest.

Romans 1:18 (NKJV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Israel's History

Look back at Israel and you'll see that every time the people were disobedient God sent destruction upon them in many fashions: plagues, famine, disease, war, earthly disaster and even miracles of disaster.

Man is the source of unjust Evil

In the last section I mentioned evil for two purposes, one for just purposes, which is the evil from God and the other for unjust purposes, which is not from God. Men on the other hand are continuously creating evil for the sake of being evil. This is what the gospel is all about. We are a wicked and filthy people, literally enemies of God.

Luke 6:45 NIV

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Matthew 13:41 NIV

The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

God is the source of Wrath/Evil for a just cause

Let's not discount God's ability to bring wrath and destruction onto/into the world. See in these next verses where God has actually promised to bring evil/destruction upon sinners.

Isaiah 45:7 KJV

"I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things."

Amos 3:6 KJV

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Joshua 23:15 NIV

But just as all the good things the LORD your God has promised you have come to you, so he will bring on you all the evil things he has threatened, until the LORD your God has destroyed you from this good land he has given you.

1 Samuel 16:15 NIV

Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.

Understand that God does these evil acts as acts of Justice. He tells us that all of His ways are Just and He does these things because of the wickedness of the people.

Job 34:10

“So listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong.

In Job it is referring to God doing evil for the sake of doing evil and not for a just purpose.

Disasters are from God as a form of His justice.

  • Isaiah 45:7 and Amos 3:6 appear to be KJV or something other than NIV.
    – a_hardin
    Aug 30, 2011 at 2:27
  • 1
    Isaiah 45:7 really threw me, but further reading helped me understand this to mean he creates "natural" evil such as the disasters I asked about in my question. For others I found this helpful carm.org/does-god-create-evil
    – a_hardin
    Aug 30, 2011 at 2:35
  • 1
    C.S. Lewis put it this way: God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. Aug 30, 2011 at 17:21
  • @a_hardin yeah, another possible translation there would be "harm"
    – gmoothart
    Sep 1, 2011 at 19:13

I don't think it will say natural disasters explicitly but think Romans 8:18-21 (NIV) can apply here:

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thati the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

It talks about creation being subjected to frustration by the will of the one who subjected it. God gave us authority over creation and then Adam sinned and gave the authority to satan.

In Genesis after the fall God said the earth was cursed for the sake of Adam.

Jesus rebuked a storm, so if what you were really wondering was if God causes natural disasters the answer would be no, otherwise Jesus would be rebuking the will of the Father.

  • I was intrigued by this answer until you brought the storm into it. Everything occurs according to the permissive will of the Father. By your reasoning with the storm, I think I would be forced to conclude that any action of Jesus disrupts the pre-existing, permissively willed events in the Father's plan.
    – svidgen
    Nov 14, 2012 at 15:12

When the world was created, God saw that "it was good."

When Adam and Eve sinned, sin destroyed the "goodness" of creation. Creation was now hostile to mankind.

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    This is somewhat sub-par as far as good developed answers go. We're looking for things that are well developed and supported, including identifying what part of Christianity holds the view being represented. You might read meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/692/… for some tips on answering.
    – Caleb
    Nov 14, 2012 at 11:51

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