By Jack Kelly
The weather is in the news again and I've received a number of questions about it. With another 500 year flood along the Mississippi and the worst tornado season since the 50s people are once again wondering if God is judging us for our sins. So we can better understand what's going on here's some perspective on the issue.
Based on my study of the nature and power of God, I'm convinced the world was perfect when He finished creating it. After all He pronounced His work of creation good 7 times during the week in which He performed it and when He was finished He declared the whole project very good. I don't believe there was a single thing wrong with the way it worked. I think there was a world wide sub-tropical climate and every day was perfect. There were twelve thirty day months and a year was 360 days long. I think the leap years, storms, earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters we're all too familiar with were unknown to Earth's earliest residents.
But when sin was introduced into the world things began to work differently, the way a computer program works differently after a virus has been introduced into it. And life on Earth really changed when that sin had to be judged. The world has literally never been the same since.
Paul confirmed this when he wrote that we humans are not the only ones in bondage due to sin. He said the creation itself eagerly awaits to be liberated from its bondage and has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth ever since it was subjected to frustration. (Romans 8:18-22)
We need to understand that when sin entered the world it knocked the finely tuned creation out of balance, and when God judged the world in the Great Flood it caused both short and long term consequences. As subterranean water broke through the Earth's surface, God collapsed the giant water canopy He had placed above the sky (Genesis 1:6-8) providing enough water to completely cover the earth's surface (Genesis 7:11-12, 18-19).
How Old Are You?
One of the earliest consequences of the flood was the reduction in life spans. A quick comparison of pre and post flood life spans in Genesis 5 and Genesis 11:10-32 is all that's necessary to confirm this. Some believe it happened because the water canopy had prevented harmful rays from outer space from entering earth's atmosphere and damaging the regeneration process of human cells. They claim the loss of this protection caused the aging process to accelerate rapidly.
So while Adam lived 930 years and 9 generations later Noah lived to age 950, his son Shem, who was 98 years old when the flood came, lived only a total of 600 years. But even so he outlived 8 of the first 9 generations of his post flood descendants. Although Abraham wasn't born until 291 years after the flood came, he was already 59 years old when Noah finally died. Abraham died at the age of 175 years, 35 years before Shem. And Moses died at 120. ( Source: http://gracethrufaith.com/ikvot-hamashiach/from-adam-to-abraham/)
The collapse of the water canopy along with the increased size of the oceans also meant that weather would no longer be perfect and mankind would be subject to periodic storms. The first mention of wind blowing on earth is in Genesis 8:1 just after the flood, and storms are first noted in Exodus 9:24, but Job, who probably wrote about the time of Joseph, also spoke of storms several times.
The next change in the creation was when the single land mass was divided into the continents of today. In Genesis 1:9 we see that God caused the land to be separated from the water on the third day of creation. Scientists speculate that there was originally only one large land mass. (In the early 1900's the German scientist Alfred Wegener named this super continent Pangea, meaning all land, in connection with his theory on continental drift.) But Genesis 10:25 says that after the flood, the land was divided, eventually resulting in seven continents. This division may have caused the earth's outer crust to be fractured into giant pieces, called plates, on which the continents and oceans rest. It's the movement of these plates that causes earthquakes.
Baby It's Cold Outside
Then came the Ice Age. The huge increase in the surface area of Earth's water caused by the flood caused increased evaporation which led to the world becoming almost completely enclosed in dense cloud cover. The cloud cover brought lower temperatures which caused the supersaturated clouds to condense into precipitation. Outside the equatorial zones the precipitation fell as sleet and snow instead of just rain and as more of the earth's surface became covered in snow the temperatures fell even lower. When the clouds finally cleared the sun melted much of the snow and ice but the polar regions have never recovered from this and are still frozen even though undigested tropical vegetation has been found in frozen animal carcasses chipped out of the polar ice. The increased precipitation combined with snow melt caused ocean levels to rise submerging numerous coastal settlements. Remnants of these settlements can still be seen 100-300 feet below the surface at many points around the world. The land bridge that once connected the British Isles and Europe disappeared. (Source: Ice Age Civilizations, James Neinhuis)
About 701 BC what was apparently a close flyby between Earth and Mars knocked both planets off their orbits. Having taken 360 days for Earth to circumnavigate the Sun ever since the creation it thereafter began requiring 365.25 days. All the calendars of the world had to be changed. Somewhere along the way the Earth's axis began to tilt, a process that continues to this day. This has the effect of making summers hotter and winters colder in much of the world than they were before. And lately we've learned that the Earth's magnetic poles are adrift and are probably going to be reversing within the next year or so.
So, as soon as sin was introduced Earth's days were numbered and things were destined to get progressively worse. Natural disasters have been part of man's existence ever since the Flood and at many times have been much worse than they are today. In fact one could logically wonder how the earth has managed to survive this long. The answer is in Paul's letter to the Colossians. Speaking of Jesus he said:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)
Because of all this, when people ask if the Lord is judging us for our sins, my response is not yet. We're still experiencing the consequences of the last judgment. Besides the Church has already been judged and the penalty paid for our sins. It happened at the cross. Unbelievers won't be judged until the Church is gone and when they are it will make what's happening now seem like small potatoes.
Therefore it's my opinion that for the most part the extreme weather the world is currently experiencing is part of the ongoing effect of the judgment the Lord visited upon Earth at the time of the Great Flood.
Times Of The Signs
But I think there are also two things happening that may be unique to our time and both are signs from the Lord. One is for the Church and the other is for America's leaders.
Both Jesus and Paul indicated that we would see signs in the creation that would alert us to the nearness of the End times. These signs would appear before the end times scenario actually unfolds, in other words before the 70th Week begins, but would hint at its closeness. He called them the beginning of birth pangs (Matt. 24:8) Paul used the same phrase in Romans 8:22 referring to the creation. Birth pangs begin mildly and are far apart, but as the time for the birth approaches they become more frequent and more intense. Jesus specifically mentioned earthquakes, so let's see if the trend in earthquakes meets the pattern of birth pangs. In the 1930s and 40s earthquakes measuring 5.0 or larger averaged around 17 per year. In the 1990s the average was just under 30 but for the last 4 years we've averaging about 50. (Source: National Geophysical Data Center) I believe this is the Lord alerting the Church to get ready for the rapture.
The other one is a warning to America's leaders to take their hands off His land. By selectively relaxing His hold on the now flawed creation to coincide with American led demands that Israel trade some of His land for the false hope of peace, He's trying to get their attention. While the disasters His relaxation permits are no where near the record setters of world history, some have been bigger than anything this generation of Americans is used to. (You can easily Google up a list of the 20th Century's worst disasters to verify this.) As you can see from the list below, these warnings have conspicuously followed on the heels of American decisions to pressure Israel into forfeiting part of the Promised Land for peace.
1. October 30, 1991: The Perfect Storm – As President George H. W. Bush is opening the Madrid (Spain) Conference to consider "land for peace" and Israel’s Middle East role, the "perfect storm" develops in the North Atlantic, creating the largest waves ever recorded in that region. The storm travels 1000 miles from "east to west" instead of the normal "west to east" pattern and crashes into the New England Coast. Thirty-five foot waves pound Kennebunkport,Maine, the summer home of the Bush family.
2. August 23, 1992: Hurricane Andrew – When the Madrid Conference moves to Washington DC and the peace talks resume, Hurricane Andrew, the worst natural disaster ever to hit America, comes ashore and produces an estimated $30 billion in damage and leaving 180,000 homeless in Florida.
3. January 16, 1994: Northridge Earthquake—President Bill Clinton meets with Syria's President Hafez el-Assad in Geneva. They talk about a peace agreement with Israel that includes giving up the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, a powerful 6.9 earthquake rocks Southern California, This quake, centered in Northridge, becomes the second most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States, behind Hurricane Andrew.
4. January 21, 1998: Lewinsky Scandal – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with President Clinton at the White House and is coldly received. Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refuse to have lunch with him. Shortly afterwards on that day, the Monica Lewinsky scandal breaks into the mass media and begins to occupy a major portion of Clinton's time.
5. September 28, 1998: Hurricane George – As Secretary of State Albright works on the final details of an agreement in which Israel would give up 13 percent of the West Bank, Hurricane George slams into the United States Gulf Coast with 110 mph winds and gusts up to 175 mph. The hurricane hits the coast and is stalled there. On September 28, Clinton meets with Yasser Arafat and Netanyahu at the White House to finalize this land deal. Later, Arafat addresses the United Nations about declaring an independent Palestinian state by May 1999, as Hurricane George pounds the Gulf Coast, causing $1 billion in damage. At the exact time that Arafat departs the country, the storm begins to dissipate.
6. October 15-22, 1998: Texas Flooded – On October 15, 1998, Arafat and Netanyahu meet at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland. The talks are scheduled to last five days with the focus on Israel giving up the aforementioned 13 percent of the West Bank. The talks are extended and conclude on October 23. On October 17, awesome rains and tornadoes hit southern Texas. The San Antonio area is deluged with rain. The rain and flooding in Texas continue until October 22 and then subside. The floods ravage 25 percent of Texas and leave over one billion dollars in damage. On October 21, Clinton declares this section of Texas a major disaster area.
7. November 30, 1998: Market Capitalization Evaporates – Arafat comes to Washington again to meet with President Clinton to raise money for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capitol. A total of 42 other nations were represented in Washington. All the nations agreed to give Arafat $3 billion in aid. Clinton promised $400 million, and the European nations $1.7 billion. On the same day, the Dow Jones average drops 216 points, and on December 1, the European Market had its third worst day in history. Hundreds of billions of market capitalization were wiped out in the U.S. and Europe.
8. December 12, 1998: Clinton is Impeached – As Clinton lands in the Palestinian-controlled section of Israel to discuss the "land for peace" process, the House of Representatives votes four articles of impeachment against him.
9. May 3, 1999: The Powerful Super Tornado – On the day that Yasser Arafat is scheduled to declare a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital, the most powerful tornado storm system ever to hit the United States sweeps across Oklahoma and Kansas. The winds are clocked at 316 mph the fastest wind speed ever recorded. The declaration is postponed to December 1999 at the request of President Clinton, whose letter to Arafat encourages him in his "aspirations for his own land." He also writes that the Palestinians have a right to "determine their own future on their own land" and that they deserve to "live free, today, tomorrow and forever."
10. Week of October 11, 1999: Hurricane, Earthquake and Dow Collapse – As Jewish settlers in 15 West Bank settlements are evicted from covenant land, the Dow-Jones financial averages lose 5.7 percent in the worst week since October 1989. On October 15 the Dow lost 266 points, and a hurricane slams into North Carolina. On the next morning, October 16, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks the southwest in the fifth most powerful earthquake in 20th Century. The earthquake was centered in the California desert and did little damage but was felt in three states. (source: www.truthorfiction.com)
11. August 29, 2005. Hurricane Katrina. One week before Katrina made landfall, Israel carried out the evacuation of 9,500 residents from Gush Katif and four Samaria communities. Residents were forced from their homes by Israeli troops, some dragged away kicking and screaming and placed on buses that took them from the area. The Gaza evacuation had been supported and even urged upon Israel by the US. Estimated to have caused damages in excess of $100 billion Katrina was one of the most expensive natural disasters in US history (Source: www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46178)
12. Sept. 1, 2010 US Pres. Obama welcomed PM Netanyahu (Israel) Pres. Abbas (Palestinians) Pres. Mubarak (Egypt) and King Abdullah (Jordan) to the White House, having invited them all to dinner on the eve of the first direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in nearly two years. As the talks began, Hurricane Earl (a category 3 storm) was headed for North Carolina where mandatory evacuation orders were issued in some coastal areas. Hurricane warnings were established all the way up the East coast to Cape Cod. Although many experts felt the timing was wrong, and in fact no tangible results came from the talks, over $40 million in damages were attributed to hurricane Earl.
The Law of Cause and Effect is clearly established in the incidents I've described above. Even those who deny the existence of God have seen the trend. More than one observer has commented that it takes a lot of effort to miss the point of these warnings. And that is, of all the places on Earth, God has claimed that land for Himself. There's no nation powerful enough to give even one inch of it to anyone else at any time for any reason without suffering the consequences.
So back to the original question. Is God judging us for our sins? Not yet. But is He warning us that His judgment is coming soon? You bet. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.