He Purposes and Controls Hurricanes

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Scott Price

Several people asked what I thought about the origin of hurricane Katrina.  Did it come from God, the Devil, Mother Nature (whoever that is), or some other source? Or can we just say it was just all just a streak of “bad luck”? The second most popular question is: To what purpose does a hurricane have that has done so much damage, killed so many people, and caused much physical, emotional, and financial suffering? Let me say right from the start that I offer no opinion that originates from me, but rather answer from the authority of God Himself, through His inspired word, the Scriptures, the Bible. The Holy Bible is simply the record of what God has said about Himself.

So, what does the word of God say? The following Old Testament quote is just one that clearly shows the Creator sovereignly controls the weather. He does this in His wisdom, by His almighty power, for His own purpose and glory.

The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebukes the sea, and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers…. The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yes, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation, and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knows them that trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:3-7)

We see too in the New Testament that Jesus Christ, who is the Creator (John 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17, Heb 1:3) controls the weather when the disciples were afraid in a storm that had erupted in the sea as they were in a boat:

And they came to Him (Jesus Christ), and awoke Him, saying, Master, Master, we perish. Then He arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And He said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this!, because He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him.” (Luke 8:24-25)

Note these next 3 sections of Scripture that show God’s power and sovereignty in all things without exception, and judge for yourself if this is the only True God that is described by most people today. The following verses are hardly ever quoted in churches, for fear of taking control away from the humanistic mindset of today’s religion.

But our God is in the heavens: He has done whatsoever He has pleased.” (Psalm 115:3)

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure: …. I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:9)

And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stop His hand, or say unto him, What are you doing?” (Daniel 4:35)

Again, this God, the only God available, is hardly ever defined in clear terms today the way He describes Himself in the word of God. Today, people have redefined God to fit their preconceived notion of Him, turning Him into a mere, helpless puppet that they can control.

The next 2 verses describe God as the Controller and Appointer of both life and death:

See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deut 32:39)

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)

Now, if this is God, who is the ultimate Sovereign, Almighty God, then He must be submitted to as such and worshipped. We must bite the bullet and just face the facts that God is, without a doubt, whether we like it or not, in sovereign control of these things.

We dealt with the clear origin of the hurricane now let us briefly look at what purpose would it serve. Since God is a God of purpose, He obviously is also the God of Providence, which is tied to His purposes. What we need to see when we analyze things such as Hurricane Katrina is that God’s purpose is a multifaceted one. Just because we cannot understand what His many purposes are, does not mean that they do not exist. God is wiser than man.

Listen now to what He says about why things are the way they are:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

We need to take note of some things here in Romans 8:28. First, let us look at the how. It is said that all things “work together” for good. This means that if you are a Christian who is struggling to understand what good this hurricane could possibly bring, you must not view it in an isolated fashion, but rather as it works together with all the many other things that are happening. This proves, I believe, that all things are connected, which is the basic law of cause and effect. Please do not let so-called science steal the glory of every effect to be merely a cold, non-intelligent happenstance, in an attempt to rob the glory of God Almighty in His wise, eternal purpose.

There are many Scriptural examples of this that can be brought to bear on this point. One is found in the book of Genesis and is summed up in chapter 50 and verse 20; “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive.” His jealous brothers sold Joseph into slavery and he became a ruler in Egypt, who eventually saved the whole region from a major famine that would have killed several. God, by His purpose, worked the wickedness of Joseph’s brothers to the good of Joseph and the whole region. The very first day, as a young boy, as he fell into the hands of his new slave owners, do you think Joseph thought he was going to have a happy and successful life? But God worked it “together” for good.

There are many examples in everyday life that become apparent very quickly what a fulfilled purpose may be, such as the death of an organ donor when another person has been on a heart transplant list for a few years. These are easy to see, but the ones that do not quickly seem so apparent, or maybe never become apparent are the things that are usually brought into question, or not understood at all. Do we have to know the outcome of every detail of an event realize that God is faithful in His promise to work all things together for good for His people? God gives faith to some.

Secondly, this leads us to who it works together for good…. “to them that love God, to them who are the called..”  This clearly shows this is limited to those who love God. Does everybody love God? No! The minority of people in the world in most generations do (Matt 7:13-15). Some people may find this unfair as they think on this. God simply is not obligated to mankind to show mercy to any (Rom 9:15-21). People who love God do not find it unfair, since they recognize God has the Divine right to do as He sees fit in His sovereign purpose. This one thing that causes hatred towards God is His unreachable character attributes. This is what separates Him from the created human. Man is jealous, with a built in bias and prejudice against this power that God alone owns.

In closing, let me point out that it works all works together for the people of God in an eternal goodness. God’s people may, at the time, suffer pain, stress, loss, etc., which may not seen for their good at the time, but is for their eternal good. In other words it eventually will work itself out to add to the final good of the people of God. The easiest of all these would be the death of one of God’s people. This would be the beginning of heavenly bliss to see their Savior face to face, to be without sin, pain, sickness, and heartache.

(This article is a portion of a larger article I wrote for the local paper in Ross, Ohio)

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