By Nathan Jones
"Natural Disasters Up More Than 400 Percent in Two Decades"
That headline from NaturalNews.com [Thurs., 6/5/08 by David Gutierrez, http://www.naturalnews.com/023362.html] states what we are all becoming more painfully aware of — natural disasters are increasing in frequency, ravaging the world, our country, and even our own homes.
The article reports, "The number of natural disasters around the world has increased by more than four times in the last 20 years, according to a report released by the British charity Oxfam. Oxfam analyzed data from the Red Cross, United Nations and researchers at Louvain University in Belgium. It found that the earth is currently experiencing approximately 500 natural disasters per year, compared with 120 per year in the early 1980s. The number of weather-related disasters in 2006 was 240, compared with 60 in 1980... Between 1985 and 1994, Oxfam found that 174 million people were affected by disasters each year. In the following decade, this figure increased by 70 percent to 254 million people per year."
Across the U.S. reports assail us concerning terrible flooding in Iowa, wild fires in California, record snows, record heat waves, droughts and over 900 tornados reported just this year wiping out whole towns nationwide. Globally, a terrible cyclone devastated Myanmar (Burma) and earthquakes shattered China. "'We are talking about some very unusual floods in West Africa, very unusual floods in East Africa, extraordinary floods in Mexico and parts of Central America, and heat waves in Greece [and] eastern Europe,' report author John Magrath said."
"'This is no freak year,' said Oxfam director Barbara Stocking. 'It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people.'"
What is the cause?
The article concludes that the culprit is global warming. But, is global warming really the cause? The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works along with many oceanographic and satellite-based studies counter that the earth is actually cooling [http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport].
Whether the Earth is warming or cooling, I believe the Bible gives us the correct answer to all this weather upheaval — God is speaking to us.
Signs of Nature
God has always spoken through signs of nature. The Bible provides us with many signs we are to watch for that will signal the soon return of Jesus, including natural disasters. Jesus said these signs would be like "birth pangs" (Matthew 24:8). That means they will increase in frequency and intensity the closer we get to the Lord's return. And that is exactly what appears to be happening today.
God uses signs of nature to underline the importance of major events, like Jesus' soon return.
God also uses them as remedial judgments to call nations to repentance. As long as we kick God out of every area of our lives and instead worship ourselves, God will use natural disasters to yell — "I love you! Repent and come back to me!"
Because of our rejection of God and His moral standards, we tragically are the ones truly responsible for these natural disasters.
What to do?
God's Word makes it clear that when He sends discipline, the fundamental purpose is never to punish. Instead, the purpose is to call us to repentance so that we might be saved. Here's how the prophet Isaiah expressed it: "When the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness" (Isaiah 26:9b).
We are tempting Him to move us from judgment to destruction. Our God is so merciful. He is patiently sending us one natural disaster wake-up call after another because He never pours out His wrath without warning. And the great "coming wrath" is the 7-year Tribulation (1 Thes. 1:10).
And so, repent individually for our own rebellion and selfishness. Repent nationally for removing God from our society, for our murders from the womb to the elderly, for our obsession with sexual promiscuity and homosexuality, and for our lack of support for Israel's right to exist. Accept Jesus as Savior. Become one of those Jesus will rescue from the "coming wrath."
When Jesus finally returns, the curse will be lifted and the natural calamities will cease. Maranatha!
More info about God and the weather...