A plea for mercy

Posted on · Posted in Current Events, Worldview

Florence is headed for the Carolina coast. The projections for the storm’s impact are increasingly dire. The track is not the “typical one” for hurricanes striking land. The storm is predicted so stall near the coast and then after a day or two slowly move across the state of South Carolina. The potential damage is catastrophic.  

Are the movements of Florence random? Is her track simply an unfortunate convergence of high and low pressure systems? Are the Carolina’s at the mercy of fate?  The Bible says that nothing is random and that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the wind and the waves. Job proclaims that the pressure systems controlling Florence are following the direction of God. 

He loads the clouds with moisture,
and they flash with his lightning.
The clouds churn about at his direction.
They do whatever he commands throughout the earth.
He makes these things happen either to punish people
or to show his unfailing love.

Florence is one of the ways God uses weather to get our attention.  Her path is not one of chance, but one of God’s choosing. God directs the weather to show his love or to show his displeasure at the actions of men.  God will not be ignored even though the media and government officials deem him to be irrelevant. 

Faced with the power of God displayed in Florence, the only response for God’s people is to plea for mercy. Perhaps God will hear our cries and once again show his patience and cause Florence to turn away or weaken.  If Florence does continue as predicted God’s purposes are still clear. As a nation we have decided to not bow before God and acknowledge his sovereignty.  Regardless of what happens with Florence and the path she takes, God remains in control of human life. He is the one to be reckoned with. It is his laws that are flaunted, not the “laws” of nature. 

The Bible makes it clear, God is patient and compassionate. He is slow to respond to the defiance of people. But humans are quick to confuse his patience with indifference. Events like Florence teach that God is not indifferent to the sins of men.  

Pray that God would use this storm to remind us that he is God and that his ways are not to be ignored.  Pray that God would turn hearts to repentance and faith. Pray that Christians will be bold and take the lead in crying out for God’s mercy.

We are not victims.

We are not helpless victims subject to the whims of random weather patterns.  All of us stand before a good, gracious and holy God. The winds, the lightning, the rain and the thunder are the powerful voice of God calling people to repent and seek God for mercy and security. As the Psalmist says, “Only in God is found safety.”

Florence brings the opportunity to honor and worship God for the great King that he is. May that worship start with the people of God who have known the mercy and grace of Christ.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.