What does Gaza have to do with Hurricane Katrina?
The most chaotic and traumatic event in Israel's modern history was the forced withdrawal of Israel from Gaza which began on August 17, 2005. Nearly 9,000 Israelis were forcibly ripped from their homes and their farms. It was heart-wrenching to watch women and children man-handled, to watch synagogues violated, Torah scrolls desecrated, houses bulldozed, graves dug up, and farms destroyed. The economic impact on Israel was simply overwhelming. Look at what the Gaza strip produced:
- 70% of Israel's organic produce
- 60% on the nations exported herbs
- 15% of its total agricultural exports
- 60% of its exported cherry tomato crop
- 120,000,000 dollars of its flower exports.
In the midst of all of this, before it was even finished, Condoleezza Rice called a press conference in which she said that every one empathizes with what the Israelis were facing, but it could not be Gaza only and that would only be the beginning of the withdrawals. It's interesting that all of that ended on August the 22nd and the very next morning the government of Bermuda announced that a tropical depression had formed off the coast of Bermuda which was dubbed "Katrina." It quickly developed into the most powerful hurricane in modern history, slamming into New Orleans on August the 27th. It disrupted 25% of our crude oil production, it destroyed the largest port in this nation and the fifth largest in the world.
I think it's interesting to note that New Orleans had a special event scheduled three days after this hit, an event that was called the "Gay Mardi Gras." The theme that year was going to be "Jazz and Jezebels." The previous year's event drew 125,000 revelers who proudly flaunted their perversion publicly in a parade that featured the bizarre. Incredibly, this event was sponsored by an organization that proudly calls itself Southern Decadence.
New Orleans is also known for its occult practices, particularly Voodoo, and its also infamous for its high murder rate and its political corruption.
None-the-less, I do not believe personally the storm was meant primarily as a judgment upon the city of New Orleans. Rather, I see it as a judgment on our entire nation for our mistreatment of Israel, and that's because it had national consequences. Higher fuel prices, higher prices for all goods, disruption of the flow of goods, an increase in the national debt, and ultimately an increase in taxes shamed us before the whole world and deeply scarred the Bush Administration.
Bush's Tragic Theological Error
Speaking of former President George W. Bush, many Christians had been asking over the years, "Why didn't President Bush realize the prophetic significance of Israel? He's a Christian, why didn't he realize it? Why didn't he treat Israel the way he should?"
I once had the opportunity to interview Bill Koenig on one of my television programs. There are only 250 White House correspondents in the world and he's one of them. Bill said of the 250 there was only five who at the time were Christians. Only five!
I had put the question to Bill, "What about it? Number one, is the president a Christian? Number two, why doesn't he realize the prophetic significance of Israel?"
Bill answered that he'd gotten to know the President well as a White House correspondent. He had absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Bush was an evangelical Christian, born again serious about his faith.
You've got to understand something, Bush was born and raised in the Episcopal Church and when he found the Lord Jesus Christ and got born again he moved to the Methodist church. Although there are both Episcopal priests and Methodist pastors who know something about Bible prophecy and understand the importance of Israel, the vast overwhelming majority in those two denominations do not, and the national leadership of both are absolutely dominated by people who believe in Replacement Theology. Bill explained that all President Bush had heard all his life from the pulpit was Replacement Theology, the teaching that in the First Century God washed his hands of the Jewish people and has no purpose left for them, and there is absolutely no prophetic significance whatsoever to the nation of Israel. Bill reported that Bush was surrounded by godly advisors who were also Christians, but they all come from Replacement Theology churches. Bill didn't know of one Bush advisor who truly believed that there is any prophetic significance to Israel.
In the final segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll learn exactly what God is trying to tell us through these tragic natural disasters.