110 miles per hour winds and four feet of rain are expected as massive hurricane Florence threatens to pound the Carolinas’ coasts on Friday or Saturday. One report observed 83-foot waves and predicted an unprecedented storm surge of over thirteen feet. Evacuations are underway, gas pumps are empty, store shelves are bare, and traffic jams stretch for miles. Some salty residents insist on riding out the storm—hopefully not to their detriment. “Storms have been predicted before and nothing ever comes of them,” one resident commented.
I have been reading the Old Testament prophets who warned the residents of Jerusalem to evacuate the city as Babylon advanced against them. They were advised not to stand strong against their foes, but to surrender and be exiled (Jeremiah 21:9). God was executing judgement upon them and would not come to their aid in battle this time. Yet, there were those who did not heed God’s warning through the prophets. A common saying was “The days go by and every vision comes to nothing” (Ezekiel 12:22). We will stand strong against our foes and our gods will help us. Those who remained, perished.
The book of Amos (chapter four) says that calamities are a catalyst to motivate people to turn back to the Lord. Many still turn their backs to God and not their faces though, (Jeremiah 32:33) even when in trouble. They refuse to listen, thinking they can handle life themselves. They refuse to evacuate their own desires and plans and follow Jesus instead.
It is my prayer that people will find the Lord in midst of this disaster. James 4:8 says that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. He will be our protector and provider. May this event serve to remind us all to draw near to God, heed the Word of the Lord, listen and obey.
”Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say.” (Isaiah 28:23)