God of the Storms!!

God of the Storms!
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will cause to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. And it shall be, when you show this people all these words, and they say to you, 'Why has the LORD pronounced all this great disaster against us? Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?' Then you shall say to them, 'Because your fathers have forsaken Me,' says the LORD; 'they have walked after other gods and have served them and worshiped them, and have forsaken Me and not kept My law. And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, each one walks according to the imagination of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me.'" -- Jeremiah 16:9-12

June 1, 2013 -- Toronados have ravaged the midsection of our republic in recent days with many lives lost and massive property destruction. Appeals for support to help in rebuilding have been extensive and large numbers of volunteers are responding to help in those areas affected by the storms.

September 16, 2005 -- An update is given at the conclusion of these comments as the appeals for help and assistance continue, as the president vows to pull out "all the stops" to rebuild and restore the Gulf Coast, and billions of dollars start to flow into the area ravaged by a hurricane named Katrina!

Was God in the Katrina event or not? In mass media coverage which mainly has consisted of TV news reporters jockeying with one another for top ratings and exploiting the tragedy as effectively as possible in order to gain the position of "Top Dog," God is rarely if ever mentioned. It's sort of a matter of making God and references to our Creator as being strictly off limits at a time such as this!

In the "religious" arena much discussion continues as to God's personal involvement in the Katrina experience -- was it an act of divine judgment in the Katrina hurricane which resulted in heavy loss of life and widespread property damage as some claim -- was it another in a series of God's "wake up calls" as pointed out by others -- or is God not really in the business of weather making and what happened was simply natural phenomena as moisture, wind, atmospheric pressure, and temperatures interacted producing a monster storm?

For those few who take God's special revelation via the holy Scriptures seriously there are some interesting facts to be noted regarding God and weather.

First -- it should be remembered that "balanced" weather is possible upon a culture if the people make obedience to God a priority. This obviously means that the political and religious leadership in such a culture by example and exhortation stress the need to obey God in all manner of personal behavior and relationships.

Deuteronomy 28 spells out the specifics -- extensive blessings and benefits on the condition of whole hearted obedience to God and the standards which He has established for all aspects of human conduct and relationships. By the same degree indescribable chaos will be the destiny of a culture in which the masses, including leadership, choose the way of defiance and disobedience to God! Included in the details is mention made of God doing something with the weather conditions depending on choices made on the part of the people.

Second -- there are numerous statements pointing out God's influence over the weather -- causing storms as well as calming storms according to the purposes He has in mind at the time of such happenings. Note the following references:

The really BIG ONE -- a universal flood which was definitely a judgmental act on the part of God -- this one wiped out the entire human race except for 8 persons! Facts are given in Genesis 6:5-8; 11-18:

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD…………. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. "Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. "And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. "You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. "And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark; you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.

In Amos 4:7-13 God testified of His chastising acts which included the sending of rain as well as withholding rain in various locations:

"I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, I struck them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel." He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth -- the LORD God Almighty is his name.

Jeremiah mentions a storm situation in direct connection to the expression of God's wrath in chapter 23:18-20:

But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly.

Jonah was called by God to go and warn the city of Nineveh and its citizens of the impending judgment of God upon them for excessive wickedness. Jonah attempted to dodge his responsibility and go in the opposite direction. God did something rather negative with the weather in that experience which resulted in Jonah deciding it was best to listen to God and carry out the mission God had called him to perform. Jonah 1:4 is quite clear in speaking of God's involvement in a stormy situation:

Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

Nahum 1:3 reinforces the truth of God using the storm in His purposes:

The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.

It must be remembered that God has power to calm the storm as He so desires as well. Psalm 107:29 speaks of this and it was certainly demonstrated in the experience of Jesus and His disciples when a storm threatened to capsize the boat they were in on the Sea of Galilee as recorded in Matthew 8:24-26:

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:29).

Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:24-26).

Third -- a bit more mystery in this matter of God and storms since it appears that He sometimes permits Satan (formerly known as Lucifer, an angel of very high rank and intelligence) to tamper with the weather on occasion. Notice the experience of Job where Satan was given permission by God to do certain things that would impact Job's life in a very negative way as recorded in Job 1:8-19:

Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

While we are not told directly that Satan was involved as in the case of Job, could it be that the storm on the Sea of Galilee as mentioned above was an effort on the part of God's archenemy to kill the Son of God thus preventing His sacrificial death on the cross for the sins of every member of the human race?

Often the "permissive" will of God (as opposed to His deliberate and intentional will) is extremely difficult to grasp … tragedies involving loss of human life whether one, two, or three at a time or dozens, hundreds, or thousands in accidents or natural disasters take place on a regular basis throughout the whole world. God permits these events to say the least -- He could prevent them from happening, but He doesn't for reasons which in most cases we won't know on this side of eternity. We struggle most of the time in our limited efforts to gain some insight into it all.

Fourth -- now, back to the Katrina thing -- what was God doing or not doing in all this? One can certainly conclude one certainty, and that is the fact that God permitted it to happen. He could have calmed it down and prevented it just as surely as Jesus gave a command long ago and a storm which threatened human life was totally stilled....BUT He didn't!

Most definitely there are some things to seriously think about in all this:

    - it does not mean that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast area is excessively wicked more than any other area in the U.S. and worthy of such devastation -- the reason being that there are definitely other areas in the U.S. of A. which have some moral problems as well -- San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno, New York just for starters! However, it is interesting to note in the New Orleans situation a much heralded event was scheduled to begin on August 31, 2005 and continue through Labor Day weekend. If you want details, go to Southern Decadence Festival XXXIV -- NOTE: use return feature on your browser to return to this area.

    - it behooves each citizen living elsewhere to say, "But for the grace of God, my home (and community, town, or city) could have been hit by such a storm!" Jesus cautioned a group of persons one time in reaching an erroneous conclusion about tragedies -- a tower had collapsed and a number of persons were killed -- Jesus' question was, "Do you suppose these were greater sinners than others because this happened to them? I tell you, unless you repent, you shall likewise perish!"

    - for some time we have had national calamities of one kind or another -- devastation and loss of life -- this is 4th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorists' attacks on the U.S. -- in spite of these things happening there has been no national mood or spirit which significantly prevails over all the reporting, the talk, and the discussions and which says very loud and clear -- "It's time to do some earnest heart and soul searching and seek God in a spirit of true repentance!" An excellent guideline on how to go about this on the part of those of us who are citizens, as well as those who are leaders in church and government, is found in Daniel 9 in the Bible.

    - the shocking reality is that for the most part a spirit of pride usually sets in as relief efforts get somewhat organized and the process of rebuilding and restoration gets underway -- news media people will not lack in reminding all of us again and again, "WE will rebuild -- WE will do thus and so and everything will be as it was before!"

    -- and as we take pride in our "recovery" from yet another devastating calamity, we will continue to destroy unborn children at the rate of about 100,000 per month, our customized idols we have made for ourselves will continue to receive our devotion, our practice of sexual immorality will continue to abound at a furious pace, and our profaning of the day set apart for worship and devotion to God Who gives us life and breath will intensify even more if that is possible!

ONE thing of which we can be sure -- if there is not a significant turning to God on the part of the majority of our country's 290 million citizens in the light of the Katrina happening, then somewhere down the road there will be another calamity, and another, and another with voices beginning to raise a question such as this --"Why is God doing this to us -- what have we done to bring such troubles upon us -- isn't this a Christian nation? Don't we say, '…one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.' And don't we have 'In God We Trust' inscribed on coins and currency? What more does He want?"

From somewhere out of the wilderness somewhere there may come a reply in one short sentence, "Repent now of your many sins, listen to and obey God with all your heart, and honor His Son as your Savior and Lord!"

June 1, 2013 -- Tornados, flash flooding -- destruction and loss of many lives -- in midst of "celebrations" of re-opening of vacation spots where extensive damage resulted from Hurricane Sandy in eastern U.S. the midsection of the U.S. is now dealing with catastrophic damage -- grief is incomprehensible -- our nation is continuing to experience a wide range of calamities. Will there be any serious thought given as to how we as a nation stand in relation to the mighty Creator of the heavens and the earth? Will our leadership (church and political) urge our citizens to do some honest soul searching, seek mercy and forgiveness, and further seek God's will in all aspects of our national life? The prospect for this does not look favorable at the moment!

September 16, 2005 -- President Bush, under heavy criticism due to what some perceive was a very slow response on the part of the federal government to the Katrina disaster, has vowed to rebuild and restore the Gulf Coast area. Much focus has been on the city of New Orleans which took a major hit from Katrina.

In the days since the hurricane hit and relief efforts are under way with donations of money and supplies coming from everywhere, and the passage of legislation authorizing billions of dollars to be used in recovery, there has been a chorus of voices expressing in a bold spirit of pride as to what is going to happen! New Orleans will be "bigger and better than before" well sums up many of the statements coming from persons in position of wealth and power as well as the "average Joe" who walks down the street. Even the president is expressing the same sentiment -- we Americans can do just about anything to set things right side up once they have been upset, can we not? Isn't that the "spirit" of the good old U.S. of A?

As pointed out in comments above, there has been no real soul searching in the midst of this calamity -- no influential leaders getting serious and saying that this nation (as a whole -- every citizen) needs to do some checking up in terms of how we as a nation are standing with God. A number will object and say among other things that God has nothing to do with this -- and that is their choice to say so -- but it comes down to this -- we can face truth and reality in this life now, or instantly face it less than 2 seconds after death, and the fact that we individually do give a personal account to God Who is the ultimate Judge of all!

The false doctrine of "separation of church and state" is one the most vicious deceptions thriving in our culture at the present time -- read Jeremiah 18 where God declares He can give the word at any time to bring a nation down, or He can establish and build it up, depending on choices made by the citizens of that nation! Evidence is overwhelming that we are not doing too well in earning the favor and blessing of a holy God these days!

A Significant Selah Moment!

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds.
Habakkuk 1:2-2 (NKJV)

Unborn Babies Brutally
Mutilated and Murdered

since Roe vs. Wade
January 1973

Watch this for 60 to 90 seconds
and see what happens!

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness....

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.

Romans 1:18; Psalm 119:126-128 NKJV

September 10, 2005
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy, PA
AND Non-Affiliated registered voter, Cambria Co. PA

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