when panic strikes you like a violent storm, when calamity strikes you like a wind storm, when trouble and anguish come to you. 28 “They will call to me at that time, but I will not answer. They will look for me, but they will not find me, 29 because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 1:27-29 (GW)
It has been more than two weeks since the remnants of hurricane Ike came roaring through Western Pennsylvania. Ike’s ire left many homes without electricity, some for more than a week as high winds whipped through the area. By the time Ike reached Western Pennsylvania most of it’s fury had dissipated.
As Hurricane Ike pushed a swelling surge onto Galveston Island, many Galveston residents who ignored a mandatory evacuation order, phoned for rescues to no avail because emergency workers were called off the streets, officials said. Help wasn’t expected until after dangerous storm conditions subsided. “We don’t know what we’re going to find tomorrow,” said the city’s mayor, Lyda Ann Thomas. “We hope we’ll find that the people who didn’t leave here are alive and well.”
“Let’s grab on and go,” Smith told Fields, a carpenter who has lived here six years. “Come back when it is over, that is the thing to do.”
Fields declined. “This is my home.”
About two hours later, Fields and his wife, Dondi and their dog, Sandy Beach, were ferried to safety in a daring effort involving a Coast Guard boat and a flat-bed military style truck.
Using a black marker and perhaps fearing the worst, Dondi had followed police instructions and written her Social Security number on one arm and a message, “I Love You,” to her seven grown children in the event she didn’t make it out alive.
Human nature being what it is, it is not hard to understand why some people would chose to ignore a mandatory evacuation order from the Mayor of Galveston. Even when homeland security secretary Michael Chernoff said that Ike appeared to be a real devastating storm many still refused to take heed. Shortly after the storm hit upon the barrier island many who had previously refused to leave where calling for help. After a period of time help was no longer available.
The Example of Noah
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. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 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.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:5-8 (NKJV)
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. 14 “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. Genesis 6:13-14 (NKJV)
And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him. 6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. 7 So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Genesis 7:5-7 (NKJV)
On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark– 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in. Genesis 7:13-16 (NKJV)
Apparently human nature, being what it is, men are slow to repent and heed warnings, even when their very lives are at stake. As it was during hurricane Ike, so it was during the time of Noah and his family.
The Example of Lot
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. 2 And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.” 3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.” Genesis 19:1-5 (NKJV)
So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 8 See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.” 9 And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door. Genesis 19:6-11 (NKJV)
Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city–take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. 15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” Genesis 19:12-17 (NKJV)
Two angels were dispatched to the city of Sodom to warn Lot and his family of the coming disaster that would soon befall them because of the wickedness of the people. In fact when these “strangers” arrived in town certain men of the city wanted to have their way with them sexually. Things had gotten so bad that Lot offered his two virgin daughters to them instead but they refused his offer because of their carnality. In fact they turned to punish Lot for his “judging” attitude towards them. When Lot told his sons-in-law about the coming disaster they thought he had lost his mind. Even Lot had to be helped out the door, being led by hand by the angels, when the time came for judgment to fall on the city. Again it would appear that even when faced with certain death our human nature wants to put up a fight. After all, we reason God is a loving God and surely He would not destroy the earth.
I am not in any way implying that the recent hurricane activity along the Gulf coast is punishment from God or judgment of wicked living in anyway, but what I am saying is, human nature being like it is, we easily dismiss dire warnings oft times to our own peril.
The bible warns of a soon coming worldwide calamity that will take many lives as well. How tragic for humankind. When faced with certain death and destruction many will refuse to heed the warning.
“When the Son of Man comes again, the situation will be like the time of Noah. 27 People were eating, drinking, and getting married until the day that Noah went into the ship. Then the flood destroyed all of them. 28 “The situation will also be like the time of Lot. People were eating, drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But on the day that Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from the sky and destroyed all of them. 30 The day when the Son of Man is revealed will be like that. Luke 17:26-30 (GW)
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7 And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” 8 Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” 9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” 12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Rev 14:6-12 (ESV)
The Ire of Ike is nothing when compared to the wrath of God. Revelation reveals a time in the not so distant future when judgment shall befall the inhabitants of the land. Notice in verses 9-11 there is an indelible mark on the arms or foreheads of those who are destined to receive punishment. Like the rescue workers told those who refused to leave Galveston Island to mark their arms with their Social Security numbers so they could be identified after they were found dead. Those who are marked with the mark of the beast will be easy to identify when the wrath of God is poured out onto the earth.
Jesus will be our ark of safety if we call upon him. Jesus, like Abraham is constantly praying for all those who are to be saved. Because we have found favor in the eyes of the Lord because of Jesus, we too can be spared the coming storm of God’s wrath.
But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)
- Man’s wrath no instrument of God’s righteous retribution. A sermon preached at S. Mary’s, Windermere, on Sunday Evening, May 7th, 1882
- The wine cup of God’s wrath
- The Punishing God
- Rameses – Wrath of God or Man
- Disasters In America: Hurricanes
- Sodom & Gomorrah
- Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God
- Left Behind – The DVD Collection (Left Behind / Left Behind II – Tribulation Force / Left Behind – World at War)
- Kingdom Come: The Final Victory: The Final Victory (Left Behind Sequel)
- Left Behind Tribulation Forces
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