Without diminishing the very real sense of loss through tragedy, we can call attention to another aspect of natural catastrophes to draw nearer to the throne of God.
Again, at the risk of sounding insensitive toward real loss and grief, there is a more excellent way in which the power of God can be both seen and appreciated, even through:
Did you ever quake in your soul at seeing the judgement and glory of God? Remember the high priests of old who went into the Holy of Holies once a year, with bells on the hems on their garments? We overlook the fact that possibly, and I say cautiously possibly, those bells were meant to draw sobriety of heart, soul, and purpose, so that when the priest walked, he WOULD NOT MAKE A SOUND.
He was in the presence of God, and he should quake! Lo and behold, too often do we approach God as if we are doing Him a favour; ‘here I am Lord,’ instead of ‘I fear thee for thou art holy.’ We learn a bit more of God’s high place when we consider ‘Who is able to bring Christ down from above?’ and of course the answer is no-one.
True we are to come boldly to His throne, but it is always ‘boldness according to holiness and truth.’ The heart must be right, and understanding who God is, and who I am not.’ When Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, there was not a man on earth to give thanks, thus the earth quaked.
Oh yes, the rocks sang praise, for nature received her King into the bowels of death. Naturally, there was also a darkness for the ‘light of the world was dimming,’ soon to be extinguished, but thankfully for a short time.
We really should enjoy the thought of ‘quaking,’ in God’s company, that is, consider the bells, and be still, and know that ‘I am the Lord.’
When we think of floods it is usually negative for the path of destruction, yet it is a good thing to have our minds ‘flooded’ with God’s goodness, and all that He has for His people. ‘Our cup runneth over.’ Need I say more? Yes, He giveth more grace, and the banks of His favour are seen and enjoyed by they who walk in faith.
When the pressure of sin was laid upon the Lord Jesus, it was at it were a true baptism of suffering; rejected by man and forsaken by God, only a truly fit and strong man could withstand this torrent of wrath from a holy God against sin.
Hence we gain insight into ‘why hast thou forsaken me?’ a question not asked for lack of knowledge, but by He who even in death, pointed to the written word of God, that the scriptures might be fulfilled. There was no flood like Calvary, and there is no where goodness pours forth endlessly other than God Himself: be still, and consider the bells.
Yes, rain can be annoying, but God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. He is without partiality, and He sends water from heaven, drops of goodness as it were. Science can explain how water drops fall to earth, but God makes the water. There is nothing that escapes His notice and plan.
Indeed in the days of Noah, it rained and rained and rained. Nonstop it rained, AFTER the doors were shut in the ark. God is patient and long-suffering, but the window of opportunity will even today come to a close; God will once again shut the door. Today is the day of His grace and He pleads with all mankind; rain is further testimony of his ‘slow to anger.’
The rain tests the foundation as well, for a building can only withstand pressure for so long. Have I built correctly? Have you? You have heard of the one true foundation, all other ground is sinking sand, and this a narrow truth that excludes ALL other ways.
The shifty of soul may argue with this dogmatic fact, but the Creator of the rain and engineer of earthquakes has given hope to all who have Him as anchor for the soul, where the rising of the water from below and above are no real and present danger. There was an ark THEN, a real vessel made of wood; there is NOW a better ark, Christ Himself, where in Him is the safest of places. Be quiet before him, and consider then the bells.
For any who has been through the trauma of a fire, you know what most people do not: the heat is an intensity second to none; sitting around a campfire does not even come close to the experience of a life and death situation through fire.
Fire is pure, it is no wonder our God is a consuming fire for He is pure, and by the way, God wants His people who carry His banner to be pure also. God’s holiness does not permit impurity to stand in His presence, so it behooves us to have a proper grasp of His nature.
When a forest fire rushes through acreage, a safe place to be is where JUDGEMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN. The place where it was scorched can no longer come to be burned again, thus, ‘He that believeth on the son, shall not come unto judgement, but has passed from death unto life.’
This is the principle of the mercy-seat; that which was consumed, cannot be consumed again. This is why the propitiation of the Lamb of God was perfect, finished, and satisfied God’s wrath. This is why the safest place is IN the Ark, ON the mercy-seat, and thank God, the offer is UNTO all, but UPON all who believe.
Christ died a death that was terrible, it was not simply that He took sin away, but that He took them UPON himself. He was made sin. Do we get this? He who knew no sin, was made sin. This is the intensity that the priests had before them, yet, they came, year after year after year, UNTIL the fulness of time.
The priests brought the sacrifices, but they could only roll back sin, they could not TAKE THEM AWAY, how could they? So Moses saw the bush that burned, and a small display of God’s purity and holiness was demonstrated, yet, God demonstrated his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The day light in the heavens, that orb called the ‘sun,’ is a ball of flame, that man may have light by day. God’s favour does not diminish toward all, yet, the day of grace will come to an abrupt halt. TODAY God calls and pleads with man, for the place called the lake of fire is very real, and it will be an eternal reminder that the grace of God was denied.
Whether there be floods, quakes, rainstorms, fires, goodness can be seen and God further enjoyed. Consider the bells.