It was on this day in the year 501 A.D. that a catastrophic earthquake struck the Holy Land, destroying many villages and towns. The land of Israel is situated on several fault lines, in fact, one of those fault lines runs beneath the Temple Mount and through the Mt. of Olives, heading toward the east. There are instances recorded in Scripture when earthquakes occurred and one in particular stands out above all others. The Bible tells us that the earth shook at the Messiah’s crucifixion and again, three days later, when He was resurrected. This occurred in Jerusalem and, according to some, Yeshua may have been crucified and buried on the Mount of Olives — where the fault line runs. The Bible also tells us that there will be an earthquake when He returns and stands upon the Mount of Olives.
God has allowed earthquakes, among other things, to serve as signs intended to draw our attention to something. Overall I would say that He is pleading with mankind to repent of our wicked ways and return to Him. According to the prophets and Revelation, there will be further earthquake activity in and around the Holy Land and throughout the world. And as in times past, these earthquakes are intended to send us a message — Repent!
Unfortunately, as is most often the case, many people aren’t paying attention to God’s gentle nudges. Messiah said that the days of His coming would be like the days of Noah, when men were going about, following their daily routine with no idea of what was about to happen. So if the last days are going to be like those days, this generation isn’t paying attention to the warnings God is sending us. The secular world takes note of earthquakes and other natural disasters, but they acknowledge that the Creator is calling them, as well as us, to repentance.
That leads us to this observation: for the most part, these birth pangs, as the Bible calls them, are intended to speak to God’s people. Paul addresses this particular issue in his letter to the Romans.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Romans 8:19-22)
Two thousand years ago, Paul pointed out that the creation was groaning and manifesting birth pangs — earthquakes and other phenomena — testifying that the creation is anticipating the “revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). Though things like catastrophic earthquakes have occurred since the beginning of time, like a woman in the throes of delivering a child, the birth pangs will become more frequent and more intense as the time draws near for the child to be revealed. In the beginning, the contractions were more subtle and spread out over larger spaces of time but, at the end of the process, they are almost unbearable. And so, considering that the creation manifests these birth pangs in anticipation of the revealing of the sons of God, is the message meant for the world or for God’s people? When His people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, then the world can see the distinctions between light and darkness.
The earth will continue to groan and manifest these birth pangs. Earthquakes will continue to strike, sometimes in odd places. Weather pattern will continue to change, baffling scientists and anyone else professing to be wise. And all of it is to say that God is speaking through His creation, saying that it’s time for the sons of God to rise up and be revealed. Just like in any childbirth, it’s very important that that child be positioned properly as the birth pains intensify. If we believe that we are living in the last days and the time Paul spoke of is upon us, then it’s very important that we be positioned properly. Its very important that our focus be upon Him and that our ears are turned to His voice to listen to and heed His instructions. We must walk upright before Him and be conformed to the image of the Son of God. The time has come for the sons and daughters of the Most High to be revealed to the world.