As we were thinking about what to feature in the month of October, Hurricane Ian happened.
This was and is beyond words. Our hearts go out to all in Florida and in the other states that have been affected.
I have been studying general revelation lately: the idea that much can be learned about God from His creation. Psalm 19:1 readsThe heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
In the beauty of the stars and the earth we can see God's incredible genius, His provision, His power, His beauty. But what of natural disasters like Hurricane Ian? What do they declare about God? Is He cruel and vindictive? Or are the people of Florida so wicked that God singles them out for special and excruciating punishment?
Thankfully, mercifully, Jesus gives us a clear answer in Luke 13.
1Now on that very occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus responded and said to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans just because they have suffered this fate? 3 No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you think that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse offenders than all the other people who live in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Natural disasters cause intense suffering, but nothing like the eternal suffering in hell. What we can hear in any kind of disaster is God powerfully calling people to repent before it is too late! People in Arizona where there are no hurricanes are no better than the people of Florida. We have all sinned and offended God. Jesus Christ is the only Way to be reconciled with God, because He took the eternal hurricane of judgment we all deserve.
This month I am sharing a song called Hurricane. It doesn't exactly express what Jesus shared, but it does see an offended God behind the devastating storm. Not a vindictive one, but one who sees the meanness of the streets. The character in the song sings:
Can you hear this heart of grief
Break the walls and come inside
Sweep the meanness from the streets
Let it crumble in the tide
In saying that the world deserves way worse judgment than this hurricane, I am pointing all fingers back to me. But by God's grace, He woke me up to both His love and the danger I was in. He let me see my great sin, brought me to repentance for that sin, and showed me the amazing escape He has offered in His Son Jesus Christ.
Eternal judgment will be way worse than Ian, who is passing off even as I write this. Eternal Judgment is breathtaking and final and never lets up. God sends disasters and storms so that mankind will wake up and see what is coming. They are dramatic but loving warnings. Please pray fervently that the Lord will wake our country and indeed, the whole world which teeters on the brink of facing God in eternal judgment.
He is a loving God who sent His only begotten Son. But to those who reject the mercy offered in Jesus, He will mete out terrible and well deserved justice.
Jesus endured the pain of hell so you don't have to if you trust Him as the only way of salvation.
There is still time for sinners to get into the Ark which is Christ. Do not put this off!