“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand” (Isaiah 28:1,2).
The judgment of God is a devastating event like when a flood or other natural disaster comes upon the land. After Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast of the United States, many people wondered if it was the judgment of God. And it’s not just zealous preachers and christians who think they know the reason for the destruction and suffering. It seems that just about everyone has an idea of who, or what, is to blame for the devastation that buried New Orleans, wiped out Waveland, Mississippi, destroyed many other coastal homes and communities, and took hundreds and maybe thousands of lives. “the hurricane ‘was God’s retribution’ for the expulsion of Jews from their settlements in Gaza.” – JERUSALEM, In televised remarks, a prominent Israeli rabbi has declared that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for President Bush’s role in forcing Israelis to leave the Gaza Strip.Representatives of foreign countries think they know: President George W. Bush caused Katrina, by ‘closing his eyes’ to the dangers of global warming. -German Environmental Minister Jurgen TrittinStatements like this about Global Warming are common in our day, even though many scientists deny it (See Scientists Respond to Gore’s Warnings of Climate Catastrophe). True experts of climatology say the earth’s temperature increase is minimal and that the change has nothing to do with CO2 emissions.
And prominent Democrats think they know: “As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, it’s worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush’s iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2.” -Robert F. Kennedy, Junior blaming Katrina on the Republical Governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour.And a radical muslim expressed the following: “Just yesterday, America attacked, killed and starved whomever it liked. Today, it is begging for oil and food. America has been hit by a divine strike. The curses of the oppressed have been fulfilled.” -Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a terrorist.Of course, there are many people who believe the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor and city officials of New Orleans are partly to blame for what happened. With all of the blaming going around, one has to wonder if anything constructive will come from it.
There is something different about New Orleans. Few things can stop a good party there, not even a major hurricane. News is that, despite the destruction of life and property, the Mardi Gras will go on. Mardi Gras, synonymous with New Orleans, means tourism and money to the economy. But the influence of this lewd and debaucherous parade is felt across America where even small town elementary schools hold clean, child-friendly, versions every year. Mardi Gras, with its cheap beads and nudity, is the birthplace of the lewd “Girls Gone Wild” videos. I wouldn’t want a child to think of Mardi Gras as good old-fashioned fun. The negative feelings attached to New Orleans for enthusiastically promoting “girls gone wild” parades and parades that feature homosexuality (Southern Decadence), and drunkenness, has caused many to credit its present circumstances to the judgment of God. A hurricane is called, after all, an act of God. On top of everything else, New Orleans has the distinction of being called the “murder capital”, having a homicide rate 10x’s the national average. Noting the rise in homicide rates in New Orleans, Peter Scharf says, “There is something going on in New Orleans that is not going on elsewhere.” That is the perception of many people.
To credit the present catastrophe to the judgment of God is risky. No one knows if God finally punished New Orleans for its sinfulness. Sure, God punishes evil wherever He sees it because He desires that people wake up and come to repentance (Joshua 23:15). God has used hail and fire to punish immoral people. God has used storms to demonstrate His dissatisfaction over the conduct of nations (Read Amos 4:6-11). And He has used floods of water to killed the wicked. I’m certainly not making a judgment about the people who died, but God could use a hurricane to wake up a city or a nation.
With all of the blaming, it seems doubtful that any significant change toward righteousness will occur. If God was trying to get our attention with a hurricane and bring us to repentance, would we hear? The Old Testament prophet, Amos, wrote of God’s attempts to turn His nation from sin. But they did not listen. He said, He “smote” them, He “sent a plague” upon them, and He “overthrew” them; but, “you have not returned to Me,” (Amos 4:11).
No matter why or who is to blame, I know that if people turned to the Lord, they would find comfort and salvation. The greatest act ever done by God was to offer His Son for the sinful and lost world.
Please read the following passages, and learn about receiving God’s gift of salvation: Acts 2:38; 22:16; Galatians 3:26,27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21. If you would like to live in the grace of God, having His forgiveness for sins and the promise of eternal life, then put all of your faith in Him, determine to live for Him, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Then walk faithfully for the rest of your life. May God bless you.