The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? `Even now,` declares the LORD, `return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.` Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing,” [Joel 2:11-14]
“Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD,” [Haggai 1:12]
“I will save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong,” [Zechariah 8:13]
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God,” [Romans 15:5-7]
“…pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you,” [2 Thessalonians 3:1]
When I was attending St. Louis Christian College in the early 90’s, I remember the severe flooding that the Mississippi River produced, causing severe damage. Incidentally, that was the time when river boat gambling was appearing all along the River. I’ll never forget hearing the interviews of people on the streets at the time; an elderly lady stated, “If they would just get rid of all those river boat casinos, this wouldn’t be happening.” Many scoffed at that response –even many Christians. After all, God doesn’t and wouldn’t do that to us… right?
Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes… they’ve all happened for millennia and they’re nothing to be concerned about… right? Or maybe we should pay closer attention. This past week we witnessed a “super-storm” that hit the east coast of the United States. It was in many ways a “perfect storm.” Just when there was hope that the storm may subside, other factors would appear that strengthened and prolonged the storm. Has anyone noticed that natural disasters are getting stronger and more frequent? Here’s a graph that deserves a little attention:
Notice that worldwide disasters are becoming more prevalent. And I think we can admit that we’ve had some pretty severe disasters over the last decade. But how quickly we forget.
Here’s an interesting question: If God isn’t responsible for the disasters, and yet they happen, why would He allow them to happen? Isn’t He a Loving God? Yes, He is. That’s exactly why He allows natural disasters to happen. If He allowed us to continue on the course that we are currently on, then He wouldn’t be a loving God if He abandoned us to our sinful and destructive tendencies. But He does allow tragedy to shake us so that we might turn in repentance back to Him. As Ronald Reagan once said, “If we cease to be one nation, under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” How true. The United States of America dared to invoke God’s blessing on this unusual journey, knowing that without God, this nation would fail.
God is sending calamities upon us to wake us up to our calling. The U.S.A. has been blessed beyond measure that we might be a blessing to the world. In recent years, while we have done some good benevolent work, our blessing is also mixed with an overwhelming curse. Our nation has become the predominant exporter of sin to the entire world. We will continue to see calamities against our nation, unless the Lord blesses us with revival –which He certainly will do that if we ask Him. In Christ, it is never too late –through Christ we can do all things.
We are listing, Lord God. We know that You love the people of the earth and you want us to wake from our slumber and bring the Word of God to the lost. Bless us, Lord, again, that we might do just that. Forgive us of our sins. Forgive us for our failures. And replace our weakness with Your Strength. Some trust in the Chariot… WE TRUST IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, OUR GOD!
When tragedy strikes, it’s mercy that speaks the loudest.
On the Solid Rock we stand!