2 Sept, 2005
When God Is in the Wind
The winds of Bible prophecy are stirring. They have been stirring figuratively for decades and are growing stronger moment by moment. The winds also are blowing literally, this generation having just witnessed perhaps the most destructive wind, and its aftermath –at least in one category—ever to hit the United States of America.
Jesus gave several birth pangs that would mark the beginning of sorrows:
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring…” (Lk. 21:25).
Figurative manifestations of prophetic winds in the coming tribulation, as given in this passage of Scripture, might include America’s reaching out to the moon, and by inference, to the sun and other stars. That stretching toward the heavens has indeed been a dramatic signpost that causes our generation to look upward. Neil Armstrong’s first setting foot on the moon in July of 1969 was perhaps the most amazing sign in the heavens in all of human history. The tremendous explosions witnessed when the Shumaker-Levy comet crashed into Jupiter is another great sign in the heavens that drew the attention of much of mankind. The catastrophic failures of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles are other signals of the sort we might conclude Jesus was talking about in His Olivet Discourse.
The figurative winds that blow powerfully against the nations, great and small, bringing the world to the brink of self-destruction, make this a generation staggering with distress and perplexity. But it is Jesus’ last element in this prophecy that commands attention at this moment in history. Thinking upon the hurricanes and typhoons of the past two years, figuring in one of the most catastrophic tsunamis of recorded history, we are caused to wonder in all seriousness whether the prophetic term the Lord used “…the sea and the waves roaring,” isn’t more literal than figurative.
Hurricane Katrina filled the vast Gulf of Mexico while we watched with wonderment the satellite images of one of the most powerful storms ever to threaten this country. As a 175 mph, Category 5 monster, Katrina caused the meteorological experts to scramble to find a more threatening storm in the history of record keeping. In terms of sheer size, they could find none. At the time of this writing, the experts in calculating such things couldn’t begin to propose a possible bottom-line dollar figure on the damage caused by Katrina.
The resultant carnage to the coastal regions of Louisiana, Alabama, and particularly to the coast of Mississippi proved to be what will surely become the most devastating storm in world history, in terms of economic costliness.
I am always irritated when something good happens –like a bountiful crop occurs due to perfect weather conditions, or there is a miraculous rescue of a submarine crew, or when a child wedged at the bottom of a tiny shaft is plucked from certain death, to see the media praise the ingenuity of humanistic endeavor, yet hear the same media call a disaster an “act of God” any time something bad happens, like a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane.
The Bible speaks to those times when God is in and is not in the catastrophes of nature. Interestingly, the Word of God uses the weather element called “wind” to delineate when the Lord does or does not cause these calamities. The pertinent passages tell us that no matter the situation –whether He causes the wind to come, or isn’t in the particular storm winds, He is always in absolute control. Jesus Christ –God in the flesh while physically on earth—proved this when He calmed the sea when the disciples were in danger.
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39).
Another account –one from the Old Testament—tells of God’s not always being in the wind. Yet the Lord demonstrated to Elijah –and us--that He is always in absolute control of the wind and everything else.
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake…” (1Ki. 19:11).
There are times that the Lord is in the wind, however. We find validation of that fact in the following Scriptures:
“Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind…” (Jer. 51:1).
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend [it] with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in [my] fury to consume [it]” (Eze. 13:13).
“But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken” (Jon. 1:4).
We have explored before in this column how God responds to interference with His dealings concerning Israel and His land grant to that people. It is much more than mere coincidence, in my view, that the disasters our own nation has just experienced follow hard on the heels of the Bush Administration’s pressuring Ariel Sharon, through diplomatic maneuvering, to shrink Israel’s territory by uprooting Jewish settlers in Gaza and other places. I couldn’t say it better than my friend, Jan Markell, put it in her newsletter.
“And as America forced Israelis out of parts of their land, Hurricane Katrina was building in the Atlantic. A Fox reporter said, ‘It must be an emotional experience (for Americans) to walk away from their homes and not ever live in them again.’ Same with those forced out in Israel. Israeli homes are being demolished as Gulf Coast homes are demolished” www.olivetreeviews.org
(August 30, 2005).
For an excellent analysis of the potential ramifications of Hurricane Katrina –issued even before it struck land—go to www.stratfor.com and see the August 28, 2005 report, "The Geopolitics of Katrina," posted there.
The ominous wind that is blowing is supernatural, and it rides upon the wings of the prince of the power of the air –Lucifer the fallen one. But, we whom name the name of Christ can take heart in that we are sheltered by His soul-saving sacrifice at Calvary. God is in the winds of the coming tribulation storm. He is there in order to control Satan’s hurricane as he stalks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5: 8).
The rapture will remove Christians to the safety of heaven before that apocalyptic wind reaches its full fury.