Towers Falling on Sinners

Frequently after tsunamis, hurricanes, Democrat presidents, people will ask if these occurrences are a judgment on someone’s sin. Was there something they did to deserve this tragic outcome?

Pat Robertson made a career out of this speculation, in fact.

More often than not you will hear Luke 13:4 quoted:

Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

The implied answer is “No, the tower falling was an accident, it was not God’s judgment.” This is always the application of this verse and I’ve yet to hear otherwise. Until I read the next verse.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.


Jesus’ application, which is frequently not our application, is that if you remain unrepentant a tower might fall on you!

That’s amazing. Go ahead, prove to me the Bible is not saying what it’s saying here.

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  1. Josh B.

    How can we discern whether Jesus means a physical punishment here and now, versus an eternal punishment after death? He may mean both, but he may also mean one or the other, and given the context of the entire NT, shouldn’t the most obvious answer be that he means an eternal punishment after death?

  2. jeff

    Another verse in the NT ignored by many is Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 10 about people being sick and some dead because of how they took communion. Another one is the death of Ananias and Saphira for lying to the Holy Spirit. It’s not outside the context of the NT to say physical things can happen as punishment for disobedience. Another is: Be not deceived, God is not mocked, You reap what you sow.

  3. Dustin

    The truth is we all deserve to have a tower dropped on us, we all deserve hell but God in His mercy gives us grace. To say when something bad happens is God’s judgement is not our call. It could be the case, then again it could be something else. In Ecclesiastes 8: 14-15 it says,”14 There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.” Again in Ecc. 7:15 In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.
    We must be careful about saying what is God’s judgement and what is not. We do not want to be the “three friends of Job”.

  4. jeff

    I agree completely. There is a tendency, however, to never even consider that what is happening to us might be for a reason. It’s not up to me to tell you what God is doing to you; but it is up to me to discern what God is doing to me. A parishioner once asked me if what was happening to her was God’s judgment. My answer was a firm, “I don’t know.” This was not the expected reply, but I told her it was up to her to find out, not whatever I say. To flippantly tell people that accidents are accidents may be cutting off the learning. To tell them definitely it’s judgment may lead to other errors.