Judgment Is Like An Impending Dam Breaků..A Warning Is Sounded, But Who's Listening?

Judgment Is Like An Impending Dam Breaků..
A Warning Is Sounded....

But Is Anybody Really Listening?

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

Since the original writing of these comments some photos have been added. The photos show the location where one of the most famous floods in United States history began, resulting in the loss of 2,209 lives. The photos are located within the text of the commentary.
Special Notice: This is being written for Christians who have met the demands of Jesus Christ by:
    repenting of all sins - Luke 13:3

    being converted and becoming as children - Matthew 18:3

    being born again - John 3:3

    faith and through that faith are appropriating His life and strength for daily living - John 6:53-63

Further, there has been whole hearted acceptance of His absolute claims which He has made regarding Himself. These are the "I am" statements which have at times been the subject of much controversy within the ranks of professing Christianity. Professing "Christians" who are troubled about these statements and cannot bring themselves to really accept them usually do so from the position that all religions in the world have validity and are on an equal level with Christianity, whether you practice Islam, Hinduism, Shinto, or drink chicken blood from a human skull in your manner of worship -- we all worship the same "god!"

But Christians who have come to know Jesus personally as Savior and Lord have no doubt that in the "I am" statements made, there is no other religious expression in the world that stands on equal footing with Christianity -- they all fall by the wayside as dead corpses, putrefying the highways of this world travelled by the condemned!

If you are not a Christian you are still welcome to read this, although it likely will upset you and make you mad, in which case, if you feel the need to vent a bit you can fire an email off to me at address given at the bottom of this area. Penelope, our gracious mail hostess, will gladly assist you -- please overlook her one bad habit! You will also notice in that area a link on what is involved in becoming a Christian.

Even some who are Christian may get disturbed since in these days throughout the churches of the United States which claim to identify with the Christian faith the subject of divine judgment is rarely considered in depth! And the conditions which invite the judgment of God on a culture are for the most part intentionally avoided. We prefer to live in a cozy, comfy, sanitary sanctuary where we are acclimated to feel good and feel safe without any negative possible happenings!

I and my family have lived in Belsano PA area since 1973. Belsano is a small village on Rt. 422 and is due north of Johnstown about 20 miles. It is at about 1,700 feet in elevation and when you go to Johnstown you are descending to a much lower level since the city is something akin to a low laying bowl surrounded by high hills all around it. Johnstown has something within it -- the formation of the Conemaugh River as a result of 2 streams coming together -- Little Conemaugh and Stoneycreek Rivers.

This situation has in the past helped Johnstown to become known as "Flood City," since it is the site of 3 major floods. These happened in May 1889, March 1936, and July 1977. Public buildings in Johnstown have clearly identified markers on outside walls revealing the water levels of each of those devastating floods. I had the funeral service for the last victim found after the 1977 flood -- his remains were uncovered in a pile of debris in the riverbed below Johnstown about 2 months after the event.

The flood of 1889, however, has received the most attention because it was the most destructive in terms of property and loss of over 2,200 lives.

Also it is now recognized that the 1889 disaster could possibly have been avoided, or at least the death and destruction limited to a far lesser extent than what actually took place.

Some time prior to 1889 a young engineer thoroughly examined the South Fork Dam which was located a few miles to the northeast of Johnstown at a much higher elevation. He warned of a potential disaster in the making in the event of excessive rainfall in too short a period of time. He recommended major repair changes in a system that had become inoperable due to major deterioration as well as intentional removal of some key components. Because of this there was no way that extreme pressure from heavy overflow could be relieved in the event of prolonged and heavy rainfall. This in turn could cause the breastworks of the dam to fail with a catastrophic flood resulting.

The warnings of that young engineer went unheeded by those, who as owners, were in a position to have the necessary changes and repairs made to the dam in order to be prepared for any future emergency.

At that time the South Fork Dam and much surrounding area were owned by a group of wealthy industrialists, including Andrew Carnegie. It was a place of relaxation and partying for the "elite" of what came to be termed the "gilded age" in our republic's history. The wealthy spared no expense when it came to the public display of their lavish lifestyles! Carefree and wasteful spending was a common characteristic. The South Fork Hunting & Fishing Club was no exception.

And so at the end of May 1889 it happened -- the rain was relentless -- the water level built up on the lake and the pressure on the earthen South Fork Dam began to increase. Eventually the waters began to spill over the breastworks with no relief possible because the system designed for such relief was now inoperable having succumbed to lack of use and proper maintenance.

Eye witness reports describe the final terrifying moments at the dam -- some individuals were out near the middle of the breastworks trying desperately to throw material in place in order to hold back the rising waters when suddenly, as though in slow motion, the mid section of the dam began to collapse and a wall of water began to roll down the Conemaugh Valley toward Johnstown crushing and grinding everything in its path to bits! The individuals on the breastworks valiantly trying to hold back the flood waters never had a glimmer of a chance of escape. One estimate was that 20 million tons of water went through the chasm cut in the middle of the dam in about 45 minutes time!

So it was one day years ago that I stood on one side of what remains of the breastworks of the original South Fork Dam and viewed that great gap between where I stood and the part of the dam still standing on the other side -- and I thought on many of these things and what happened here one fateful day at the end of May in 1889 -- and the warning given by a young engineer and the evidence he produced that a future disaster of unprecedented proportions could take place if proper preparations were not made immediately! And how that warning was totally ignored!

Photo taken a short time after the dam broke - May 31, 1889

Looking from the south remains of the South Fork Dam breastworks to the north remains of the breastworks. The dam was 931 feet long, end to end. It was 500 feet wide at the base. It was 40 feet wide on top and had a height of 72 feet.

Bottom photo reveals the gap cut through the breastworks of the South Fork Dam -- estimated time was about 45 minutes in which as much as 20 million tons of water rushed down the gap toward the city of Johnstown! Beyond the breastworks is a bridge on Route 219 which carries traffic south to the Johnstown area and north to Ebensburg, county seat of Cambria County.

I thought about those terrifying last moments for some brave persons as they tried vainly to delay the inevitable -- then I thought how it wouldn't have had to happen that way if the warnings would have been heeded -- my heart was very heavy.

Let's fast forward to the early part of the 21st Century and how it is now in a republic known as the United States of America.

Even more obvious than the rust, corrosion and flaws which placed the south Fork Dam at great risk for a future disaster, so Christians are in the responsible position of identifying today's spiritual "rust and corrosion" and sounding the warning of impending judgment if corrective measures are not quickly taken on a massive scale, individually and collectively!

We are in a moral and spiritual decline which our republic has never before experienced in its entire history.

The issues have been identified extensively in many areas of this web site with heavy emphasis on our systematic extermination of unborn children which qualifies as an abomination God identifies in His Word as the "shedding of innocent blood!" What other nation on planet Earth in recent decades can you name which boldly claims to be civilized and in its historical documents further claims that all persons should have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but at the same time has chalked up such a bloody track record of brutally mutilated and murdered innocent victims as the United States of America? See the latest tally:

Unborn Babies Brutally
Mutilated and Murdered

since Roe vs. Wade
January 1973

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

Rather than list the details again, please review the following and after doing so, please use return feature of your web browser to come back here:

At the top of this area is a reference to a time long ago in another place thousands of miles from here.

The people clearly identified themselves as God's people, but things were not going well. The reason? They had free access to a body of information which revealed Who God is, what He had done in the past, and what standards He had put in place by which those people were to conform in order to experience the fullness of His blessings and favor.

But the people had gotten off course. Obedience to God was no longer a priority. And then came calamities and troubles of every conceivable kind. So they began to ask why God was doing these things to them.

God had prepared individuals such as Jeremiah to provide the answers to those questions.

There are no solid grounds at the present time to believe that identical questions will not be asked as this country undergoes its deserved calamities and troubles at any possible moment. Will you be able and willing to give straight and correct answers, as did Jeremiah in his time?

Read closely the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel to help prepare for such a time. It is also wise to become thoroughly familiar with Deuteronomy 28. The first few verses speak of the abundance of blessings which God says He will pour out on the people on condition of their obedience to His laws and standards. God then takes about 3 times as much space to spell out the calamities, trials, and troubles which will come if the people choose to be defiant and practice lawlessness.

For an excellent capsule summary as to how a culture morally and spiritually unravels and then experiences the devastating judgment of a righteous God, take a goodly amount of time to digest 2 Chronicles 36:11-19:

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He also did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions.

Don't be surprised if people refuse to listen -- you see a plain example which happened back about 586 BC -- it's a prominent feature of human nature to refuse to face reality, especially when it comes to sin and the distinct possibility that the "land of the free and the home of the brave" could be facing God's wrath due to decades of defiance and rebellion!

Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
-- Isaiah 58:1

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
-- 2 Timothy 4:7,8

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)

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

February 13, 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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