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A Lesser Hurricane Irene: The Evidence of Prayer?

        Though many people were killed, almost five million lost power, huge regions were flooded and flooding is ongoing, and billions of dollars in damage took place, some curiously bitter people continue to insist that Hurricane Irene was a hyped event. Some are very thankful that the huge storm was not as bad as originally predicted. Some are arrogantly putting forth their opinion that the storm was nothing that couldn’t be handled, and that they handled it quite well.

        Did something intervene?

        Maybe there was collusion between all the weather boys and girls up and down the coast and the scientific computer geniuses that postulated a storm of nearly Biblical proportions. Maybe they all made a deal with the news media to play it up and make Irene appear as the almost second coming of Rita or Andrew or Isabel grafted onto the upper east coast, New York City, and New England.

         Or maybe there are many more powerful Christians in this nation than otherwise thought praying powerful prayers that a very powerful God answered.

         Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon like any other natural process such as rain or lightning. They happened eons before any human set foot on the land. They will not stop just because we are here. I will personally, however, believe that the Lord God of all creation can do whatever He wants whenever He wants, and that if He uses natural means to judge humanity it’s His prerogative.

         I will also believe that real believers have power over the elements.

         And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” [Matthew 8:24-27]

         The Greek word for “storm” in the above verse is seismos. It means, “A commotion, a shaking, AN EARTHQUAKE.”[1] In fact, this Greek word appears 14 times in the New Testament and every other time it is translated as “earthquake.” Along with the earthquake was a great wind. Mark and Luke called it “a fierce gale of wind,” which Strong labeled “a hurricane.” In other words, the storm on the Sea of Galilee was not a rain event or a thunderstorm. It was the result of an earthquake and wind. Great roiling waves had resulted which were swamping the boat. The apostles rightly feared for their lives. This was no mere storm but something much more out of the ordinary.

         What did the Lord do? He did two things:

         First, He jumped their case for being cowards, and for having so little faith.

         Second, He rebuked the winds and the sea.

         Now, the Sea of Galilee was notorious for having freak wind events. The rushing winds would often form great waves. But on this particular occasion an earthquake was apparently also involved. Did the Lord allow this as a test? Was it a surprise to Him? It was certainly a great surprise to them and if He had not acted to rebuke the wind and waves the apostles would have all ended up at the bottom of that crazy, violent sea. It was a life and death situation and they had no means whatsoever to save themselves because they—

         (1) Were a bunch of chickens, and

         (2) Had far too little faith to affect any change.

         From watching the Lord perform the miracle, the apostles learned that even the winds and the sea obey Him! Who is this guy?!

         And they eventually received the power to do the same thing.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:12]

         Thus, real Christians have power with God through prayer to rebuke the wind and sea. Thus, it is quite possible that all the experts were right but that some other force acted upon Hurricane Irene, which just happened to follow on the heels of a very rare 5.8 Virginia earthquake.

         And this means this country is not populated with a single Elijah holding the fort but millions of dedicated followers of the Lord Jesus that are increasingly making their presence felt.

         Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.” But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.” [Romans 11:2-4]

         Besides, the Lord’s people are salt and light—the preservers of humanity and those who show the way. Many will say that Irene was a bust without ever thinking that they possibly dodged a howitzer through the prayers of God’s people.

         The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. [James 5:16-18] [2]

         Lieutenant Dan eventually made his peace with God. For all those who did not during the opportunity that was Hurricane Irene, there will be another showdown in the not too distant future, except for those who die and go to hell in the meantime. Mock God all you want, unbelievers. Mock His people. But it is highly likely the ones you mock just saved your keisters.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible © 1890

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

August 29: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/August/Virginia-Residents-God-Intervened-in-Irene-/

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