Harvey followed so closely by Irma. Many will ask the “why” questions. Could there be a clear answer that points us to a sovereign God, firmly in charge of human affairs?
Well, once again I had a plan for “my” blog, but the Holy Spirit seems to be leading me somewhere completely different!
I have a few observations about monster storms. And about all the heartbreaking news from Texas :(. Texas, Florida, the Caribbean: you are in our prayers! Praying most earnestly you will find God faithful to be:
…your refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
First, we can help. Pray, of course! And donate if you can. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) teams began responding before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, deploying hundreds of crisis buckets and sending other supplies. Samaritan’s Purse also has disaster relief units in place. Many additional opportunities to help are listed here.
In the face of horrendous events like these, many will ask the “why” questions. “Man-made climate change” will be the politically correct story. But could there be a different answer? One that points us to a sovereign God, firmly in charge of human affairs?
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse. (Gen 12:3)
And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (Zech 12:9)
God’s truth? Or a lie?
Prophecy watchers have done landmark work over the past couple decades documenting how these ancient words from the Hebrew Scriptures are proving true in our day. From the summary for William R. Koenig’s book, Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel, last revised in 2006:
The ten costliest insurance events in U.S. history
The twelve costliest hurricanes in U.S. history
Three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history
The two largest terrorism events in U.S. history
All of these major catastrophes and many others occurred or began… within 24-hours of U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush applying pressure on Israel to trade her land for promises of “peace and security,” sponsoring major “land for peace” meetings, making major public statements pertaining to Israel’s covenant land and /or calling for a Palestinian state. Are each one of these major record-setting events just a coincidence or awe-inspiring signs that God is actively involved in the affairs of Israel? In this book, Bill Koenig provides undeniable facts and conclusive evidence showing that indeed the leaders of the United States and the world are on a collision course with God over Israel’s covenant land.
John McTernan’s As America has done to Israel is another excellent resource.
The most memorable example for me is “The Perfect Storm” that formed October 30, 1991—the same day the Madrid Peace Conference opened. President Bush forced this conference on Israel. In his opening speech, Bush told Israel that “territorial compromise is essential for peace.” A.k.a. “Land for Peace.”
On the day Bush made that pronouncement, the legendary Perfect Storm “traveled 1000 miles the wrong direction and sent 35-foot waves slamming directly into President Bush’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine.”
Coincidence? I’ll let you decide!
Obama’s administration was the most hostile to Israel in a generation. It also broke records for the number of natural disasters declared. In fact, 2011 saw the most national disasters FEMA has ever recorded, and more than double the average annual number. But manmade climate change was the culprit for that, natch…
You can make a case that pretty much any disaster that occurred during Obama’s administration took place against a backdrop of increasing pressure against Israel. But on May 19, 2011, Obama made a noteworthy foreign policy speech in which he introduced the language “pre-1967 borders” to the Mideast narrative, thus denying Israel’s claims to historic areas of Jerusalem.
On May 22, 2011, three days later, a tornado cut a 22-mile swath through Joplin, Missouri, obliterating 8400 houses and 450 businesses and killing 161 people.
“…for he who touches you [Jerusalem], touches the apple of His eye.” (Zech 2:8)
The “apple of His eye” expression refers to the central aperture of the eye. It also came to imply something tender, carefully guarded, something or someone treasured above all else.
So even as Obama advocated “sticking God in the eye,” a killer storm struck the very heart of our land!
Coincidence? Again, I’ll let you decide!
In an interview dated October 28, 2012, William Koenig (who authored the Eye to Eye book) made many interesting points concerning how brooding “Superstorm” Sandy appeared to fit this pattern. First, Sandy menaced the eastern seaboard of the United States on almost exactly the 21st anniversary of “The Perfect Storm” that lashed Kennebunkport. (21 = 7 times 3, two numbers which represent completeness or perfection in the Bible.) Second, Sandy brewed during the final runup to the 2012 elections, just as both parties were formally endorsing the two-state solution.
“Both political parties have now accepted, specifically, a two-state solution to peace in the Mideast, dividing Israel’s land between Israel and a Palestinian state,” Koenig told WND. “And now this hurricane story is going to disrupt political campaigning and possibly affect voter turnout for both parties.
“There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes pressure on Israel by the Obama administration, to not act on Iran prior to the election,” Koenig continued, “but the most succinct correlation is that both parties have officially endorsed the two-state solution.”
So… the lesson of the “Perfect Storm” universally rejected.
As Koenig forewarned, Sandy became the most devastating storm in the U.S. since Katrina*, with damage assessed at $75 billion and a cost of 233 lives in eight countries. (*Oh, did I fail to mention the apparent link between Katrina and the Bush/Rice-supported Gaza evacuation? Well, sadly, the list of apparent links is a long one….)
So when I saw Hurricane Harvey also drawing the “perfect storm” moniker, this got my attention. Harvey was freakish in that it had dissipated. But it reformed on Wednesday August 23, strengthening into a hurricane over the course of the next twenty-seven hours. Note that this occurred during the exact hours Jared Kushner spent on the ground in the Middle East, meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas and heads of the states of Egypt and Jordan in an attempt to defibrillate the so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Harvey gained momentum from that point, slamming into the Texas Gulf coast with historic vengeance as a monster Category 4 storm packing a twelve-foot storm surge and 130-mph winds. I hardly need to tell you that Houston, our nation’s fourth-largest city with a population of 2.3 million, is suffering historic flooding.
Why Houston, Texas? Some have pointed out the connection between Houston and Bush Sr., who started the “Land for Peace” push. The city has honored Bush by naming its international airport and a 7800 acre park after the former president.
Coincidentally, there is another place on earth known as a Lone Star State, bearing the Star of David on its flag.
There’s also the significance of the name Corpus Christi, one of the coastal cities that bore the initial brunt of Harvey’s landfall. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God…” (1 Pet 4:17) Corpus Christi means “body of Christ!”
I’m not sure I buy into everything Sawdy lays out in his eclipse post. I’m uncomfortable with using gematria to interpret scripture as Sawdy does in places. I prefer to keep to the plainer sense of scripture. It may be that in heaven I’ll learn I’ve been wrong about that! But having said that, and speaking of place-name “coincidences”…
…the first major U.S. city that will witness the solar eclipse is the capital of Oregon, Salem…. Salem is the original Biblical name for Jerusalem (Gen 14)…. Of the 14 U.S. States which will be able to view the eclipse in its totality, 13 of them include cities of Salem…
– MichaEL Sawdy
This intrigued me enough that I lay awake for about an hour the night I read it, mentally dusting off my college probability and statistics and calculating the likelihood this would occur by chance. (Yes, my engineer-brain gets out of hand sometimes…)
Salem is a common place name in the U.S. According to Wikipedia, 29 of the 48 contiguous states have a “Salem.” Even so, if you pick 14 states at random, the likelihood that 13 or more of them would include a “Salem” comes up to less than 0.3%.
What to make of that? I’m not sure God is concerned with our man-made state lines, and at least some of those thirteen Salems were not in the “path of totality.” Still, the eclipse that divided our land landed on a Salem and passed through or near a statistically improbable number of other Salems. It’s definitely, well… intriguing.
Rabbi Dayan emphasized that even though it is impossible to assign a divine motive to natural disasters, Judaism does not believe in coincidence or happenstance. Everything in the world, even the weather, is a result of man’s relationship with God.
– Breaking Israel News interview of Rabbi Yosef Dayan, former member of Israel’s Nascent Sanhedrin
At this writing, Irma has entered Category 5 “Beast Mode” and appears to be gunning for South Florida. Given what Category 4 Harvey did to Houston, can you even imagine? All 67 Florida counties have declared a state of emergency. Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands are also hunkering down.
I almost think this goes without saying–and very truthfully, I don’t relish saying it. At all. But as the “Perfect Storm” once lashed Bush’s Kennebunkport home, could this one be taking aim at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago? In fact, Trump owns four properties in the possible path of the storm.
What exactly did Kushner do in Israel? What message did he carry to Netanyahu and Abbas? News reports have been vague, and you and I may never know what was said behind those closed doors. But certainly, the establishment of a Palestinian state (a.k.a. “land for peace”) remains on the table. And certainly, President Trump covets the legacy of making this “ultimate deal.”
For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all the nations
And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat [NOTE: here meaning “decision” or “judgment”]
Then I will enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
And they have divided up My land (Joel 3:1-2)
Just a reminder. “In those days and at that time” (Joel 3:1) is prophecy-speak for the end of our age.
Meanwhile, in the Western U.S., dozens of wildfires burn. An 8/28 update from NASA listed wildfires in Oregon, Idaho, and Montana with more than 85,000 acres in flames. Fires rage in California and Washington too. The Sacramento Bee reported more than seventy active fires across California on Labor Day. Ash is falling like snow in parts of Seattle.
As of 9/5/17, the National Interagency Fire Center reports:
Extreme fire weather conditions caused many fires in Montana, Oregon and California to gain thousands of acres yesterday. Currently 81 large fires have burned 1.4 million acres in nine western states. More than 27,000 firefighters and support personnel are assigned to wildland fires in the West.
The thing that strikes me as unusual about this year’s fires is the smoke. Smoke has reached hazardous levels in major Western U.S. cities from Seattle to Portland to Denver to Phoenix.
Last November, after wildfires ravaged Tennessee, an employee cleaning up at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood attraction found this–a lone page ripped from a Bible–under a charred bench:
It’s a famous end-times prophecy from the Book of Joel. The verses that were legible were:
The day of the LORD is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be!
To you, LORD, I call, for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.
Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
And at the bottom, barely legible:
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
Last November, this gave the young man who found it “goosebumps.” I think it feels just as eerie now… as I watch the sunrise through an unmistakable layer of smoke… way down here in southern Arizona…
It occurs to me that this model shows the smoke covering much the same ground the eclipse did! Is that odd?
And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke….
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
(Acts 2:19-21, quoting Joel 2:30-32)
If you’re new to my blog, we’ve been blogging our way through the Hebrew calendar–God’s calendar, which still holds so many lessons for believers today. Nothing in the Bible is “old news”!
As I write this, we’re a third of the way through this year’s Forty Days of Repentance (based on the Hebrew calendar–the forty days leading up to the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur). The fact that the Lord has chosen to punctuate this year’s Forty Days of Repentance with the total eclipse on the first day, Elul 1, and the Revelation 12 sign on the Feast of Trumpets towards the end seems to me to indicate this isn’t “business as usual.”
The past days’ events have added a new layer of complexity to the picture of the present season laid out in my previous post.
Here’s what I wrote after Harvey in an earlier version of this post:
I fear we’re getting a glimpse.
1 Peter 4:17-19: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God. (NOTE: again… the city name Corpus Christi, where Harvey made landfall, means Body of Christ!) And if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”
Psalm 2:2-5: “The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
‘Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!’
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury…”
Please join me in praying for the people of Texas. And the Caribbean. And Florida. And the areas affected by the forest fires. And in praying that President Trump will heed the scriptural warnings against (further) dividing God’s land and we won’t continue to find our nation on the wrong side of this one!
Going back to the message from my last post…. I’m not saying it’s so cuz only the Father knows. But…
If you knew these were the last weeks before the Rapture, how would you live??
Shouldn’t we live that way anyway?
It’s time to share the Word like never before, brothers and sisters!
If you’ve never opened God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus (Rom 3:23, 6:23), please please please be persuaded to do it now! It’s simple. Just tell God from your heart that you admit you’re a sinner that needs a Savior (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23), that you’re done running your own life, and that you’re ready to make Jesus Lord of your life.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Rom 10:9-11)
The decision that saves you is that simple!
Simple… But no one said living it out will be easy. Especially now.