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Bible Stories of Surviving Tragedies

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The Christian Life is a broad topic as we know it. It is characterized by a series of conflicting forces such as struggles, successes, dilemmas, resolutions, love, hatred, victory, defeat, and a lot more!

Cross on a hill at sunset; surviving tragedies

The Bible has this seemingly fair share of life’s contradicting themes. It is actually a book of temptations, defeat, trials, tragedies, woes, and punishment, yet all the more, amidst all these– hope and salvation.

As we see our own lives being reflected in the Scriptures, it is so inspiring to know this book itself provides solutions on how to survive our seemingly endless woes and tragedies.

Here are some Bible stories to take note of:

Noah's ark and great flood; surviving tragedy;
Noah’s Ark riding on a swell after the Great Flood

The Great Flood

Talking about tragedies, who would forget the very first Armageddon-ic catastrophe in the Bible? 

It happened at a time when the world is nearly perfect. Everything, breath-taking! Imagine the most fertile land– abundant of gold, silver, and precious stones. The water bodies are untainted, the hills, and the forest clothed with tall, beautiful trees, and various fruits and grains are all around.

However, the gravity of sin was in effect to the people. Human beings were extremely wicked. All the intentions of their hearts were continually evil. And the Lord was sorry that he created them (Genesis 6:5,6).

Yet there was a man who was regarded as blameless. And he found favor in the eyes of God (Genesis 6:8,9).

The flood was the verdict for the sin of the antediluvian people. The tragedy fell on them because of their unbelief. Had they repented and took heed of the Lord’s warning of the upcoming flood, they could have been saved. 

However, Noah’s preaching for one hundred twenty years only fell on deaf ears. 

As a result, the whole earth’s population was washed away except Noah’s household.

The 7-Year Plague during the Time of Joseph

The seven-year plague is another powerful story surviving tragedy in the Bible. 

Seven years back, Joseph, then a jailer was summoned by the king to interpret his dreams. The dream was about seven lean cows which devoured seven fat cows. Another was of seven withered ears of grain that devoured seven fat ears. 

Joseph interpreted this as seven years of abundance, followed by seven years of famine. Joseph advised the Pharaoh to assign a wise man who will govern Egypt’s land and save up a one-fifth of the produce during the abundant years.

Joseph was regarded to be the man most qualified for the job! He gave him his signet ring and made Joseph in charge of Pharaoh’s house. Thankfully Joseph managed Pharaoh’s household and the whole land of Egypt through God’s wisdom. 

Thus, when the drought came, the whole land of Egypt and other nations were spared!

baby moses floating in the river; Bible tragedies


Moses in the Nile River

Speaking of tragedies, we can not skip talking about children’s great massacre in Moses’ time.

This happened in the time when a king arose who did not know Joseph. As he was threatened by the fact that the Hebrews are a people of strength and significant number (Exodus 1:7), the Pharaoh commanded the Hebrew children’s slaughter. 

Luckily, a Hebrew woman named Jochebed was smart enough to hide Moses for three months. However, “when she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch” (Exodus 2:3). 

In the Nile River, she placed Moses cradled in a basket under her daughter Miriam’s supervision. The boy luckily was found by the king’s daughter claiming him as his own and even making his real mother his own nurse!

Egypt’s Ten Plagues

In the pursuit of bringing back the Israelites to the promised land, the Lord has to send crazily and deadly plagues to the people of Egypt. 

Water turning to blood, frogs swarming around every inch of the land, lice, pestilence, boils, hail, locust, darkness, and lastly the death of the firstborn were your not so typical calamities ranging from severe to extremely severe. 

Although it’s tragic for the pagan nation, it was actually a blessing to the people of God. 

The story ended up with Pharaoh allowing the people to go. Although after that were still a series of tragedies and successes before the people of God finally reach the promised land.

Joash, the Boy King

Another instance of child massacre in the Bible is the story of Athaliah killing her own children and grandchildren to secure her position as a queen (2 Kings 11: 1). 

However, Joash was hidden in the temple by his aunt Jehoshaba so the baby boy was not killed. 

After seven years, Jehoiada, the priest and Joash uncle proclaimed him king of Jerusalem. The protagonist queen Athaliah wasn’t able to do anything about it and was finally put to death due to her wickedness.

Daniel and His Three Friends

The story of Daniel and his three friends is also famous in the Bible.

In the third year of King Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. One of the people who were spared by this tragedy was Daniel and his three friends. 

Although they weren’t totally liberated, they had the opportunity to hold positions in the kingdom. There were also numerous instances where they were spared from the verdict of death such as the King’s wrath towards his wise men when they could not interpret his dream, the fiery furnace, and even Daniel being thrown in the lion’s den.

The Story of Jesus

Jesus’ story, like your typical movie plot, is a series of won battles and escaped tragedies. 

Let’s begin by citing how he escaped children’s slaughter because of the threatened Herod (Matthew 2:16). Upon knowing that the prophesied king of the Jews was born, Herod commanded the male children two years old or under to be killed. However, an angel appeared to Joseph about this. Thus, they were able to escape to Egypt.

There were also numerous times when Jesus was attempted to be killed before His time (John 7:30; 8:20; 10:31). The priest and scribes were so jealous of Jesus because he was swaying the people’s sympathy to himself. Thus, there were attempts to stone him or have him arrested, but they failed.

Lastly, was his crucifixion and resurrection. When the prince of death taught he could kill the Messiah, He was mistaken as this actually was the fulfilment of the Lord’s redemption plan.

Sin and God’s Deliverance

These stories are indeed tragic and only proves the conclusion of sin is death. People’s transgression, wickedness, unfaithfulness, idolatry, pride, selfish ambition, are the sole culprit why these tragedies took place.

Thus, we should not forget the result of disobedience is a tragedy. On the other hand, obedience leads people to hope and salvation.

The Lord is our surety and our stronghold. Thankfully, with Him, we can survive any tragedy in this life!

chasing hope logo, surviving tragedies


Chasing Hope is an inspiring podcast about the Christian life where it talks about faith, hope, and some Christian history. Besides spiritual life topics, the podcast also talks about career, family, and plenty of areas that concern the listener.

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