God: "Quit yer sinnin'… or I'll wipe out New Orleans!"
You’ve heard from the chorus of babbling Biblical literalists that Hurrican Katrina is God’s retribution for the decadence fostered in New Orleans, haven’t you? Sure, it’s strange that God wiped out all of those poor folks in the 9th Ward, while leaving the hot bed of decadence, the French Quarter, virtually untouched. And yeah, it’s odd that God’s aim is so broad that He had to wipe out folks in Mississippi and Alabama, too. But God works in mysterious, inconceivably cruel ways.
A two-foot snowfall in Los Angeles — a severe drought this summer in the Midwest that dropped water levels in the Missouri River to their lowest on record — a heat wave of temperatures of over 110 degrees that in one week killed more than 20 people in Arizona — hurricanes in Florida, Carolina, and of course, the monster of all storms, Hurricane Katrina, which essentially washed away the city of New Orleans. All, says Ross Gelbspan of the Boston Globe, are the results of human-induced global warming.
…Dr. Sami Solanki, director of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, says dramatic weather changes are caused not by man-made activity, but the result of the sun heating up, which “may now be affecting global temperatures.” Max Mayfield, head of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and Hurricane forecaster William Gray, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, essentially say the current “onslaught of storms ‘is very much natural.'”
It’s hard to believe what’s been occurring of late is simply “very much natural.” The succession and intensity of these events have rightly caused people to sense something isn’t right in the earth, and scientific data alone can’t explain it.
Interestingly, the Old Testament book of Haggai describes a time not unlike ours, when the people of Israel were wondering why so many natural calamities had befallen them. …God was saying: “I’m the reason you’ve experienced the storms — the drought — the scorching heat — the crop failures — the strong winds — this heightened intensity of natural disasters. I did it. And I did it because I wanted to get your attention about the way you’ve forgotten me and my business and focused exclusively on your own.”
One needn’t think the natural disasters in New Orleans, Biloxi, or any other place were because the people in those cities acted more wickedly than others. Jesus warned against that kind of assessment in Luke 13:1-5, declaring: “Unless you repent you will all similarly perish.” But this unusual barrage of climatic catastrophes should be seen as a wake-up call for people everywhere — the handwriting on the wall that God is ready to judge the nations. God gets no pleasure in afflicting men. His actions are not retaliatory. But the Sovereign of the Universe cannot simply allow His law to be spurned. His will and way must be paramount to everything else. His business must be attended to first.
Global warming? The sun heating up? A natural cycle? Have you ever considered the fact that recent natural disasters might have more to do with you — your neglect — my neglect — America’s neglect — the nations’ neglect of God’s business for their own?
Dang! And I thought the worst thing God would do when I commit my favorite nearly-daily sin was kill a kitten.