Our hearts and prayers are for the people of Turkey and Syria where over 41,000 people lost their lives in this massive earthquake. We pray for the many wounded; we pray for those who lost their loved ones and for those who are now homeless.

How might one recover from such a tragedy? Anyone who has experienced even a tremor will always remember this feeling of helplessness. It is a sensation we cannot too soon forget.

Many ask at a time like this, why did God allow this devastation to happen? One thing we can be sure of is that He Himself is also suffering to see so much destruction. The Scriptures say that in all their affliction, He is afflicted (Isaiah 63:9). While this is written at the end of the Book of Isaiah and looks back to the sufferings of His nation throughout her history, these words can be applied to all men, women and children who suffer today. And for us who are witnessing all these things, what can we draw from it? First, let us make something clear. If the earthquakes happened in Turkey and Syria, it is not because these people are more wicked or evil than we are. This very earthquake could have happened right where we live.

When they asked Yeshua about a tower which fell and killed 18 people, He answered: “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5.

This admonition also applies for other accidents and natural disasters.

Earthquakes in the Scriptures are a means to call and to awaken the people. And as we are approaching the soon coming of the Lord, the Scriptures speak of an increase in intensity of earthquakes. Yeshua, in His prophecy of the end says,

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes”. Matthew 24:7

Of the 12 or so earthquakes reported in the Bible, 4 of them will be used to call on the people to turn to God during the Tribulation times.

At the opening of the 6th seal. Rev.6:12

At the opening of the 7th seal. Rev.8:15

At the raising of the two witnesses. Rev. 11:3

At the pouring out of the 7th bowl at Armageddon. Rev.16

Concerning this last one it says: and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. And this one will be worldwide.

But let me now bring you to two major earthquakes which occurred in bible history. The first one was at the crucifixion of the Messiah (Matthew 27:54). But something very unusual occurred there. During this earthquake, no casualties or damages were reported. Surely this would let the people know that though the earth moved, the Messiah was on the Tav (cross) and there on that tree, He was taking on the sins of the whole world.

And there was a second earthquake reported (Matthew 28:2) which the Scriptures define as a severe, mega earthquake occurring on the third day, at His resurrection. During this one as well, there were no casualties reported, for surely the Lord wanted the whole world to know that safety is in Him who took all the sins and forever.

Both these earthquakes were used to call the people to God and so it is our prayer that these natural disasters would, at the end, persuade the people to seek the protection of the Creator.

We also pray that the Rouah HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, will pour a special blessing on Turkey and Syria and bless every survivor with the comfort and salvation that can be found in Him.