Has anyone noticed that no one seems to be proclaiming that the volcanic eruptions in Iceland are a sign of God’s judgement? Why not?
First, because no one seems to have been killed. How can there be a divine judgement without a shedload of smiting?
Second, where are the wicked - the liberals, feminists, and homosexuals responsible for 9/11; the drinkers, gamblers, and prostitutes responsible for Hurricane Katrina; the foreigners and pagans responsible for the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami; and the voodooists and satanists responsible for the recent earthquake in Haiti? Granted, a few villages near the volcano have had to be abandoned. But that’s hardly payback for Iceland pissing off the US by declaring itself a nuclear-free zone, having a universal healthcare system, and ranking the most developed nation in the world on the UN Human Development Index; nor will the UK consider such minor local disruption sufficient comeuppance for losing the coddamn fishing wars in the seventies.
And, third, because the volcanic fallout has affected mainly business interests - the airline and tourist industries - and the relatively well-to-do who can afford to travel abroad. These folk are the elect and the blessed. The poor and vulnerable who bore the brunt of the aforesaid catastrophes - they remain largely unscathed by the eruption, and how can there be a divine judgement without the wretched getting shafted and being made more wretched still?
However, it is a mistake to think that the volcano is not God’s judgement. It most certainly is. It is just that it is not a retributive judgement, the default position of false prophets, but a restorative judgement. How so? Here are five reasons.
(1) The unprecedented shutdown in air traffic has resulted in jet-free blue skies, less atmospheric noise, and a stunning display of the Northern Lights. “Chill,” says the Lord; “be still; listen; look!”
(2) Despite the fact that the volcano has been a pain in the ash, nevertheless, some scientists are claiming that the pace of global warming will be marginally slowed. God is green!
(3) Iceland - Iceland! - this tinpot icebox of a country hits the news. God raises the humble!
(4) The unpronounceable name of the volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, has turned normally word-perfect newsreaders into a laughingstock. God humbles the proud!
(5) The sulphuric smell of the volcanic gases is suggestive of egg farts. One woman in the path of the fumes said that at first she thought they emanated from her young daughter or the animals in the field. God has a sense of humour!
Yes, the Iceland volcano is surely God’s judgement. Romans 11:33!