Hurricane Matthew edition – Day 1
With Hurricane Matthew taking aim at Florida today and then over the next few days heading up the coast towards GA, SC, NC and then who knows where, Albert Mohler shared some thoughts about reflecting on hurricanes with a Christian mindset:
Next, we turn to the headline news about Hurricane Matthew, which slammed into the nation of Haiti yesterday with winds of about 145 mph, ranking it as a category four hurricane. For a while at least, it was a category five hurricane, and it may be once again, if it regains strength over the warm waters of the Caribbean and the straits of Florida. As John Bacon reported yesterday for USA Today,
“Bottled water flew off supermarket shelves along Florida’s Atlantic Coast and South Carolina prepared to evacuate more than 1 million people as the nation braced itself for the most powerful storm to smash through the region in almost a decade.”
We were told that,
“A hurricane watch was issued Tuesday for parts of Florida as Matthew roared through the Caribbean, pounding tiny Haiti with heavy rain and powerful winds and tides. Hurricane-strength winds could reach Florida midday Thursday, and the storm could linger there into Friday
It is then expected to exit into the Atlantic where it will turn, according to these predictions, to the West and go into South Carolina along the coast, heading up eventually to the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Matthew is the strongest hurricane in the entire Caribbean region for almost a decade, and when it hit Haiti it was the strongest hurricane to hit that beleaguered nation in 52 years. Needless to say, Haiti is a nation that is very vulnerable to this kind of natural disaster. As of late last night, it was not yet clear whether there would be a high death toll in Haiti from the storm, but it was clear that there was expected widespread devastation in the already heavily devastated nation.
We’re also looking at the fact that predictions indicate that there is sufficient danger for regions of Florida and South Carolina to force preparedness, and in the case of South Carolina, the evacuation of an estimated 1 million people. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has ordered the evacuation of all persons in South Carolina up to 100 miles from the coast, indicating something of the significance and scale of the danger that is expected.
From a Christian worldview perspective, of course, our first concern is to pray for those who are in danger and to do anything possible in terms of our own power to help those who may offer assistance to those whose lives are in danger or who are facing the threat of the storm.
There is also, however, the realization that should come by the Christian worldview of how little of the reality of the world we actually control. There is something of human arrogance and hubris in the fact that even as we’re looking at the 2016 presidential election, even as we find ourselves talking about events local and international, we often speak as if human beings are the deciders, human beings are eventually in control, it matters in the end, according to certain human arrogance, what human beings will decide, which course we will take, which candidate will elect. The size of this kind of hurricane reminds us, or at least should remind us, that we are actually not in control of some the most fundamental forces of the universe.
This is a humbling realization. It’s a very important realization for anyone who operates from a biblical worldview. It is precisely the kind of realization that came to Job in the final chapters of that biblical book when it became increasingly apparent to him by his own confession, and by God’s own speech to him, that he was not in control, rather that God alone is in control as the Creator, Sustainer, and the Providential Ruler of the entire universe. We may be far advanced in terms of previous generations in our ability to track and to predict these kinds of storms. But one thing remains constant: we are in no more control of these storms than were the ancients who could merely observe them once they arrived and after they left with no anticipated knowledge of any predictive ability. We now have a great deal of predictability. But that’s a very different thing than suffering under the illusion that we are in control.
He also had some good thoughts about the appearance of “faith” issues in the VP debate this past Monday and about how more and more it is apparent that we humans are not born “amoral” as some say, but rather with some sort of moral compass. You can listen to his briefing or read the full transcript here.
Today is the anniversary of the day in 1536 when William Tyndale was strangled and burned for printing copies of the English Bible – was illegal at the time.