Taking another little detour today, again because of the recent past and impending storm. There are a lot of people who actually believe these weather disasters are God punishing us for our sins. That's certainly not biblical on several levels. Let me refer to some scripture. The first is in Luke 13:1-5, a structure collapsed and killed 18 people, did they sin more than others? Jesus says no. In the same section there is a reference to a fight between Roman soldiers and some rebellious Galileans, in the course of this fight some who were not involved were also killed. Was this because of their sins too? No. In both cases people were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Let's look at the parable of building a house on sand or solid ground. It's supposed to teach us to use wisdom and not build in an unstable environment. (And there are some spiritual messages too). From a purely practical standpoint, knowing that the islands south of Florida get hit with storms nearly every year, it's not a good idea to live there. Or if you plan to do so build a structure designed to withstand high winds. But the reality is that the rest of the year the place is beautiful and people will always be attracted to living there.
Another scripture to look at is in Acts 27, just read the whole chapter. The section I want to focus on happens after verse 13. This ship is caught in a storm at sea. I do not want to spiritualize this in any way. It was a storm, just like the storms that recently struck us and are currently causing problems. From the entire story we know that the ship's captain and crew knew before they left that there was potential for a storm but went anyway. Just like the people in south Texas that were warned of impending floods and stayed home, or those who live here in Florida knowing of severe winds and still stay home. It's not a good idea. Paul says that an angel
of God came to him and told him that they would not die in the storm. We know that Paul was used by God in so many ways, that through him God performed miracles. Do you think that Paul did not pray for the storm to simply stop? Do you not believe that God could stop the storm? On the sea of Galilee Jesus simply spoke and the storm stopped, certainly He could do so again.
Do mosquitoes and gnats have a purpose? I don't know but they are certainly irritating. Do hurricanes have a purpose? That I too don't know. Are weather patterns influenced by what humanity has done over the centuries? Don't know that either. I don't know who said it first but there is a simple statement that we don't know what we don't know. One hundred years ago we didn't know how dangerous it was to smoke. The symbol for lead is Pb, derived from the Latin word plumbum. Because it was used to extensively in plumbing. It took centuries to learn just how dangerous lead is. In agriculture we've learned that growing the same crops every year depletes the soil. So many things that we have learned and still so much that we don't know. Perhaps some day we'll discover that the large ships and submarines are causing enough disturbances to effect ocean currents and influencing weather patterns, or maybe not. Is it possible that the current weather patterns are a result of what man has done to the planet? That too is something that we don't know.
I leave you with this thought. If this is judgment for the sins of the US and the southern islands, then what did Jesus do on the cross? Scripture tells me very plainly Jesus Himself took the judgment for ALL sin and the debt is fully paid. That doesn't give man a license to sin but there is no more judgment. The comparison is so frequently made of Sodom and Gomorrah but those were cities which existed before The Law and before Christ. We cannot compare that time to the present.
Some will say that the book of The Revelation shows the judgment of God against the world. Yes I will agree to that, but that judgment comes only after God has given every man a choice to accept what Jesus did for them or to try themselves. Today the church is still in the world and grace is available to whosoever asks for it.