When I first read about Hurricane Harvey’s potential devastation, even before hitting the shores of Texas, it was referred to as rains of Biblical proportions. As of Sunday, Hurricane Harvey had deposited 9 trillion gallons of water upon our fellow-countrymen across the greater Houston area and the southeast portion of the Lone Star State.
Matthew Cappucci, reporting for the Washington Post, helps to put this massive amount of water into perspective. “The 9 trillion gallons of water dispensed so far is enough to fill the entire Great Salt Lake in Salt Lake City — twice! It would take nine days straight for the Mississippi River to drain into Houston and equal the amount of water already there. If we averaged this amount of water spread equally over the lower 48 states, that’s the equivalent of about 0.17 inches of rain — roughly the height of three pennies stacked atop each other — occupying every square inch of the contiguous United States. Imagine one downpour large enough to cover the entire country!
This amount of water could fill 2.3 percent of the volume of the mountain range containing Mount Everest in Nepal and is enough to occupy 33,906 Empire State Buildings, from basement to penthouse.”
Many around the country, myself included, have been praying for those who are in Harvey’s grip; but let’s not forget, truly, they are in the grip of God. I have friends and family in Texas; I think it’s a great state, and I’m not casting stones at the people there. But let’s ask ourselves a question.
Rather than wondering where God is during a time like this, isn’t it possible that this is a kind of divine judgment—the wrath of God—coming upon a nation who turns from and denies its godly heritage, a nation who destroys generation upon generation of its progeny; a nation who has taken the symbol of God’s promise—the rainbow—turning it into a symbol of man’s perversion; a nation that raises its fist to God neglecting the beauty of male and female—denying the very Hand of our Creator? As God looks upon a land He blessed and sees a people who have changed their God for those gods which are no gods and its churches drink from broken, self-made cisterns while forsaking Him—the fountain of living waters—is it so far-fetched that God has sent Harvey to speak to a country that has outlawed speaking to Him and has been sticking their fingers in their ears for too long?
The same God who set the ocean’s boundaries can easily release it from those boundaries to do His bidding, to call a nation back to Him through repentance.
Throughout Holy Scripture, God’s judgment—including His use of nature—is more than destruction; it’s a reminder that God is holy, sovereign, and merciful. It’s a loving call to repentance, to return, and a promise of renewal.
In Amos chapter four God cries out, “I’ve done this to you and I’ve done that to you, still you will not return to me.” At the end of the chapter, because Israel refused to repent and return, she is warned, “Prepare to meet your God,” and this in a military sense. Chapter five of Amos calls Israel, several times, to seek God and to seek good and live. We mustn’t ignore the warnings of a just and holy God.
Why is it so much easier to weep over the loss of life and destruction of property brought about by an “act of nature” than it is to weep over our nation’s spiritual condition and the spiritual destruction of America’s church, as we ignore the holiness and awesome terribleness of God?
Pray for God to give His people a heart of repentance and a renewed gospel awakening within our nation.
Pray for those who are in the path of collateral damage of a righteous, holy, and loving God who gives reprieves and recalls a nation back to Himself.
If we recognize the impossibilities of preparing to meet Harvey, how much more impossible is it to meet God without repentance? May God will that Harvey becomes a "Hurricane of Hope" rather than just a force of destruction.
May God help us see not only the great need of our brothers and sisters in Texas, but may God break our hearts as well.
As most of you know, we have a track record of sending very few financial appeals. Recently support has been much diminished. Please show your support for our ministry efforts by responding to this brief, but needed request for help.
To support our efforts please click here or mailyour gift to American Decency Association (ADA), PO Box 202, Fremont, MI 49412.
American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.