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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Storms Expose the Character of Man

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ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Hi White_Stone,

Quote:

Joplin is in my prayers. Please explain to me how you can choose to disregard what The Lord, The God of Hosts has to say? Is there anything or anyone that can act outside of His will? No, not one.

Not only do I pray for Joplin but for all the Saints and all who will become Saints through Faith in His Holy Child Jesus.

You must not know how painful it is to me to see His word disregarded. If it is so to me, I shudder to think of how He feels. How can you bring souls to Christ if you are turning your eye from God's own word? This is life and death work you are able to do. For my part I can only sit here in my home and pray, you have the great opportunity to work on the front line. I will pray for you.



I believe that we need to be very careful about assigning the blame of this tornado -- including all of the deaths -- upon the our Lord. In addition, we should be careful about insinuating that people "choose to disregard what the Lord, the God of Hosts has to say" simply because they may not agree with a particular view on the cause/effect relationship with this particular tornado (one of about 1200 per year in the US). This is a particularly active year. In fact, it is the most active since 1950. Of course, the population of this country is much greater than it was then too.

As I said in the dedicated Joplin tornado thread, this type of blame and assumptions about cause could be what Job's friends were guilty of throughout the book of Job (and which God called "words without knowledge" (Job 38:1-3). I read the entire book of Job recently, and many of their words sound quite a bit like the insinuations that I have read online from people who attribute this particular tornado (and all of its death and destruction) as an active or supernatural choice by God.

If the "anything and anyone acts according to His will" philosophy is correct, then mankind is completely devoid of free will and our sinful nature is a direct result of God Himself. Accordingly, every motive and ever act of nature or physics (such as dropping a glass on the floor) is a result of God's active oversight INSTEAD of order to this world that God designed at creation.

We have a high speed commuter train just a couple of blocks from our house. Throughout last year, several local teenagers chose to throw themselves in front of the CalTrain in acts of suicide. Why did they do this? Because the laws of physics prove that it was an effective way to kill yourself. If you stood in front of a heavy passenger bullet train (that reaches 79 mph), it WILL kill you. Someone could accuse these deaths as "the will of God," but it was the determination of these children to kill themselves and the laws of physics that resulted in their deaths. If someone doesn't die from being hit by a 500 ton train going 79 mph, it is because God INTERVENED on their behalf.

Do you see the difference? Weather is the result of PATTERNS. Yes, these are patterns that God designed -- but they are patterns nonetheless. God actively OVERSEES those patterns -- and many times intervenes on our behalf due to our prayers. However, the dew that appeared/did not appear on Gideon's wool fleece was miraculous BECAUSE of divine intervention. After all, dew appears every morning as part of the order of nature that God created.

Do the laws of physics (of which weather is a suborder) exist? Why don't you test it by unplugging your computer, disconnect the internet, remove the battery and see if you can still read SermonIndex? This website exists based upon the will of God -- but utilizes many different tangible laws of physics that God created (and men later figured out). The computer you use exists due to many principles of chemistry and physics (including laws dictating electricity, temperature and structure). The internet itself exists due to many other laws dictated by the order that God designed. Now, God could easily allow us to utilize SermonIndex without being plugged in or the internet. However, most of us either pay for service or use the service provided elsewhere.

A few days ago, the local weather report called for a high temperature of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit in our town today with a slight chance of rain. It is currently 58 degrees at our home (7:45 PM), but the temperature reached a high of 63 degrees at our home and it sprinkled just a bit.

Now, how did the weatherman know what the temperature was going to be? He certainly isn't a prophet. This forecast was simply an estimation made because the weatherman knows the principles of physics related to weather patterns (meteorology) -- and makes his assumptions based upon them. That same weather service predicts that we have an 80% chance of rain on Saturday and a high of 65 degrees. Now, it may rain...or the weatherman can be wrong. But, the weather can be forecast with amazing accuracy because of understanding certain principles of the order that God set for nature. Jesus mentioned this when he said that men can predict the weather because of the sky (Matthew 16:1-4).

As for the verse from Amos and the commentary from Matthew Henry: Yes, God ultimately has dominion over all things. However, Job is an interesting example in that God had SHIELDED Job and his family/belongings from danger (Job 1:10). Why would God need to "hedge" Job from danger if God was the one creating it in the first place? Moreover, the case of Job was the result of God ALLOWING Satan to act against Job (Job 1:12) rather than God following a suggestion of Satan and causing the hardship of Job as an act of judgment (as Job's ignorant friends suggested).

We were placed in a world that has a very specific order. If I place my hand on the stove, it will burn (unless God intervenes). If I fall asleep out of a second floor window, the order of gravity will cause me to hit the ground. If I exercise and eat right, I won't get fat. Now, we can imply that God controls us as pawns or puppets -- but that wouldn't explain a "sinful nature." That nature -- that is CONTRARY to the Spirit of God -- is what causes sinful men to do bad things.

Likewise, we no longer live in Eden. We live in a fallen world. There is an order to this world. It rains on the just and the unjust. During the summer, when the Earth is tilted on its axis toward the Sun (as it rotates and revolves), the days are a bit longer and warmer (including the air masses). During the winter, when the Earth is tilted on its axis away from the Sun, the days are slightly shorter and cooler (including the air masses). During the Spring, cold air masses often collide with encroaching warm air masses. This is when most tornadoes take place.

Now, I am not saying that God cannot create or prevent a tornado as an act of judgment. However, that would be SUPERNATURAL (outside of nature...super = outside; natural = nature). After all, the period of Great Tribulation that is coming will be a time in which the wrath that God has been storing up is poured out supernaturally upon mankind.

However, I think that it is quite a bit of an assumption to proclaim that God created this tornado apart from the natural order to this world that He designed. This is why I would urge caution in regard to proclaiming (as some have done) that this tornado -- and the death and destruction that resulted -- was a specific measure of judgment (in a sense of divine indignation or wrath) upon the town of Joplin. If we are wrong in our proclamation -- even slightly -- then we have risked inadvertently bearing false witness against the character, person or actions of God. This is the very thing that Job's friends were guilty of having done.

I think that it is best to pray for the people of Joplin without trying to portray the reasons, causes or motivation for the events. Could God have caused it? He can do anything -- except violate His own holiness, mercy, judgment, plan and character. Could God have stopped it? Of course, unless it was of a similar violation. God is certainly able to judge, dispense wrath and dispense mercy. After all, He is a God of justice, holiness and mercy simultaneously. Yet, as Job ultimately realized, some things are just "too wonderful" for us to understand or make proclamations in regard to.


_________________
Christopher

 2011/6/2 22:59Profile









 Re: What does the Word say?

Mat 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?
and one of them shall not fall on the ground
without your Father.


Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 38:2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding .................
Job 38:22 Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
Job 38:23 which I have reserved for the time of distress for the day of battle and war?
Job 38:24 How is it, the way the light is distributed; and how does the east wind spread itself on the earth?
Job 38:25 Who has cut a channel for the flood; or a way for the thunderclaps, Job 38:26 to make it rain on the earth where no man is, a wilderness and no man in it;
Job 38:27 to satisfy the waste and desolation, and to cause the source of grass to sprout?
Job 38:28 Is there a father for the rain? Or who has given birth to the drops of dew?
Job 38:29 From whose womb comes forth the ice; and the frost of the heavens, who fathered it; Job 38:30 the waters hidden like stone, and the face of the deep is captured?
Job 38:31 Can you bind the bands of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords of Orion?
Job 38:32 Can you bring out the constellations in their season; or can you guide the Bear with its sons?
Job 38:33 Do you know the limits of the heavens; can you establish their rulership on the earth?
Job 38:34 Can you lift your voice to the clouds, so that floods of water may cover you?
Job 38:35 Can you send lightnings, that they may go and say to you, Here we are?
Job 38:36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts; or who has given understanding to the mind?
Job 38:37 Who can by wisdom number the clouds or who can lay down the jars of the heavens,
Job 38:38 when the dust is melted into hardness, and the clods cling fast together?
Job 38:39 Will you hunt the prey for the lion, or fill the appetite of the young lions,
Job 38:40 when they crouch in dens, and sit in the cover of their hiding place?
Job 38:41 Who provides food for the raven, when its young ones cry to God and wander about without food?


Deu 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deu 11:14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
Deu 11:15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
Deu 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
Deu 11:17 And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.


Hag 1:10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.
Hag 1:11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.


Psa 147:8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
Psa 147:9 He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.


Psa 104:25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
Psa 104:26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
Psa 104:27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
Psa 104:28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
Psa 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.


Jon 1:4 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 1:12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.


Isa 29:6 Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.




There are more verses like these, but we're not privy to why He allows these things but we know He has good reasons for everything He allows because He is Good.

There is no "natural order" with "nature". The physics of weather is that the physics of weather cannot predict weather because it's in constant flux and that's the physics of weather -- only predictive in a very limited way. Only GOD knows.


The only way that I can see this, is if my child was at school and was taken by a tornado - how I would feel toward GOD? I would pray to be as Job. James 5:11

 2011/6/3 4:47









 Re:

Quote:
I believe that we need to be very careful about assigning the blame of this tornado -- including all of the deaths -- upon the our Lord.
...
I think that it is quite a bit of an assumption to proclaim that God created this tornado



What "you think" and "you believe" is of little consequence to US, so please do not include a WE in your beliefs. If YOU believe that YOU need to be very careful, then YOU be very careful. As for ME and the rest of US opposed to what "you believe" and what "you think", WE will hold fast to what God has written for US.

Among others too numerous to mention again...

Job 1:21 ...the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Nah 1:3 The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Amos 1:14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:

Ezek 5:16-17 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the Lord have spoken it.

Jer 23:19-20 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

Zeph 1:12-13 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.


OJ

 2011/6/3 8:38









 Re:

Quote:
And what if He DID bring the storm? Would that have been so wrong? Upon a godless nation and godless culture?? God is a God of Justice. It would have been perfectly JUST if He had wiped out the entire USA!



And a hearty amen to that!!!

OJ

 2011/6/3 8:40
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 This has become a hijacked thread!

Wow seems like "some" have gotten way off topic here. Ginnyrose posted about the behavior of the people after the tornado in her area. If you guys want to keep fighting over Joplin and if God purposely destroyed that little town or not then maybe be considerate to ginnyrose and go back to the other thread...

Ginnyrose: I have seen this kind of behavior before too. Its so sad that even when we are down and hurting all some can do is kick and attack. I know that there were tornado just the other day in MA and within a few hours the National guard had to be called not only to help with possible victims who needed help but to deal with looting. We need to pray.

rdg

 2011/6/3 8:52Profile









 Re: This has become a hijacked thread!

RDG

It is not at all off topic. Eccl 8:11 "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

Those who teach the Lord will not do such a thing (Zeph 1:12-13) encourage others to sin with thoughts of impunity.


OJ

 2011/6/3 10:37
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Quote:

What "you think" and "you believe" is of little consequence to US, so please do not include a WE in your beliefs. If YOU believe that YOU need to be very careful, then YOU be very careful. As for ME and the rest of US opposed to what "you believe" and what "you think", WE will hold fast to what God has written for US.



The caution that I urged was for the WE. The opinion that I suggested was my own. I hope to be very quick to make a distinction between what is MY opinion -- so that I am not guilty of making a blanket public proclamation and attributing it to the heart of God.

That is my biggest concern in all of this. There are many visitors reading these posts. When a group of very earnest believers begin to present their opinions of Scripture as if they are truth -- and convey the notion that anyone who disagrees, tests, or urges caution and verification BEFORE it is so publicly proclaimed -- well, it could have lasting repercussions.

There were believers killed in this tornado. I read stories about several devout believers who were killed in the storm. I was brought to tears when I saw a news story online about a family that lost both of their sons after their 3-year old was found on the shore of a nearby lake. While the ultimate end for such people is an eternity with Christ -- we just don't have any Scriptural examples (particularly in the New Covenant) where God actively KILLS His own people. People can try and connect dots of Scripture and speculate that He would do this -- but it is merely speculation.

As for the "rest of us:" There are many believers who disagree with the notion that God caused this tornado, Old Joe. I suppose that it is easy to dismiss those individuals, question their faith, or imply that they are encouraging "sin" with such caution. However, we also believe that we are holding fast to the Word of God.

As was previously said, God can certainly do ANYTHING. However, we have anecdotes from the Word of God regarding things pertaining to this tornado. Some people incorrectly believe that God killed Job's family...or destroyed his belongings...or brought scabs upon his body. Yet Scripture is clear that God had PROTECTED Job, and only removed that "hedge" after Satan's conversation (in Job 1:12 and 2:6). Job's friends thought that it was God's doing and speculated that God performed these things as an act of judgment for one reason or another.

Job listened to them...and God rebuked him for it. God told Job that his friends "darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge" (Job 38:2). Job repented, admitting that he spoke of things that he just didn't fully understand.

Quote:

It is not at all off topic. Eccl 8:11 "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

Those who teach the Lord will not do such a thing (Zeph 1:12-13) encourage others to sin with thoughts of impunity.



I urge you to reconsider your angry and accusatory words, Old Joe. I couldn't care less about the accusations about those of us who disagree with your opinions. However, I do urge you to read the Book of Job (specifically, chapters 3-37) and consider how similar your claims sound to what Job's friends uttered.

Some people choose to accuse God. For instance, the disgustingly repulsive Westboro Baptist Church does this on a regular basis. They parade to funerals and proclaim that God killed the deceased as He brought judgment upon a soldier or politician (or other figure). They loudly and proudly proclaim that "God hates" the person rather than the sin. Their misguided zeal is obvious to most believers. However, their accusations (about God and man) are awfully similar to the counsel of Job's friends.

Some people like that feel no hesitation nor prudence when they point the finger at Him and loudly and publicly proclaim that HE was the one who supernaturally created a tornado to KILL, STEAL and DESTROY the people of that city. However, each of those individuals will give an account to God for such an accusation, just as I will give an account to God for urging caution.


_________________
Christopher

 2011/6/3 11:37Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re: This has become a hijacked thread!

Hi rainydaygirl and ginnyrose,

Quote:

Wow seems like "some" have gotten way off topic here. Ginnyrose posted about the behavior of the people after the tornado in her area. If you guys want to keep fighting over Joplin and if God purposely destroyed that little town or not then maybe be considerate to ginnyrose and go back to the other thread...



I apologize if it seemed like this thread was hijacked. I just saw some more public claims about this tornado (directed at brother twayneb's comments) and was inclined to urge some caution accordingly.

I appreciated sister ginnyrose's comments. Like twayneb said, things like this bring out the character of men. Still, for all of the tragedy, I am encouraged when I read of stories where people have turned to God following tragedies...or because the people of God have reached out to those who are hurting.


_________________
Christopher

 2011/6/3 11:44Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Job listened to them...and God rebuked him for it. God told Job that his friends "darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge" (Job 38:2). Job repented, admitting that he spoke of things that he just didn't fully understand.



This statement above declares a fundamental lack of understanding of the book of Job, and is about as twisted an interpretation of scripture as I have seen yet. I suggest you read the rest of the chapter esp v22-29, 34-35.

Job was not rebuked for listening to his friends, he was rebuked for defending his own righteousness, and believing he should be exempt from trouble from God. This is what Job 42:1-6 reveals.


OJ

 2011/6/3 14:24









 Re:

Quote:
Some people like that feel no hesitation nor prudence when they point the finger at Him and loudly and publicly proclaim that HE was the one who supernaturally created a tornado to KILL, STEAL and DESTROY the people of that city.



Yes, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Zephaniah, John, Paul and a bunch of others.

OJ

 2011/6/3 14:35





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