In an earlier writing of this topic (part 1), I did a brief review of the May 29th front page tornado article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune entitled “Tornado Assault Baffles Science.” It was of course an article covering the recent deadly tornadoes, especially of May 22—in North Minneapolis and Joplin Missouri. The focus of the article was about how tornadoes have suddenly gotten more deadly and more frequent, and about how scientists have been baffled at the mysterious recent weather patterns, such as the jet stream blowing so fast and so far south at this early in the season. I sited Paul Douglas as saying “Curious things are going on in the atmosphere,” curious things, he said, that were “very odd.”
I want to return now to what I was saying in response to that article. Instead of trying to understand things totally through science I suggested, and I still hold, that God has everything to do with what’s been happening: that He is in charge of the weather; that He controls the weather. I have had some time now to study this, and I would like to present it to you in three points: (1) God controls the weather; (2) He uses deadly storms for His purposes and for our good; and (3) our response.
God Controls the Weather
God has always controlled everything. He holds everything together. As for the chaotic weather we’ve been having, the “curious things going on in the atmosphere,” He knows about that too. In fact, He created it; He caused it for our good. Does that sound odd for me to say that? Well, let me explain. When man sinned in the garden, God said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground for your sake.” In Romans 8:19-22 Paul explains that the curse was not just in that garden or just on the ground; it was over the entire universe. It was a curse that has affected all of nature, including the weather. The condemnation of mankind has been imprinted on the heavens, and on the earth, and on all creation. It’s almost as if the whole universe is suffering for our sins. All of nature is under the bondage of corruption because of us. But there is also another way to look at it. One commentator has suggested—and I agree with him—that God cursed the earth, and the whole universe, to mature us and to help perfect our character—the kind of character that is needed to be in God’s family. This idea is confirmed for us in Romans 5:3-4 and James 1:2-4. Therefore, God gave us a cursed universe not to punish us, but rather to keep us working at making things better, and to keep us humble, and to keep us praying and seeking Him, hence, to make us holy.
Therefore, God brought about the curse on the earth and on the weather for our good. And He continues every day to control and direct the weather, and all of nature. He didn’t just curse the universe and leave it alone. He is watching over it and controlling it. He uses Satan to move it; He uses the natural corruption process (but, I’m not sure how that works); and I’m sure He intervenes and moves the weather Himself and by His angels whenever He desires. Scripture backs this up.
I have always been intrigued at how God used Satan to test Job: to cause fire to fall from heaven and to move the wind, causing destruction and death. Let’s look at this passage.
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.
13 Now it happened on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 that a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died; and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
In all this, Job did not credit his calamity to Satan, but rather to God, saying
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job knew that though Satan indirectly buffeted him; God was the prime mover and was in control. Yes, God controls all things. He is on the throne of the universe, directing all things, working all things “after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). Here are a few passages that will point this out; they are particularly how God controls the wind.
13 So Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind on the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and rested on all the territory of Egypt. They were very severe; previously there had been no such locusts as they, nor shall there be such after them.
16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and entreat the Lord your God, that He may take away from me this death only.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and entreated the Lord. 19 And the Lord turned a very strong west wind, which took the locusts away and blew them into the Red Sea. There remained not one locust in all the territory of Egypt.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.
31 Now a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quail from the sea
25 For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves of the sea.
7 He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
Who makes lightnings for the rain;
Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.
He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow.
16 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings forth the wind from His storehouses.
13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.
4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.
But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint.
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds.
Four ways God Uses Tornadoes and Natural Disasters for Our Good
1. To Warn Us. If God is in control of the weather and the tornadoes (as He is), the question will always come up: why does He choose to destroy some homes and kill some and others not? What have some done to deserve judgment and why did the rest escape? Jesus proposed a similar question to a group of people as they encountered two different tragedies.
There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
In these two incidents Jesus pointed out that just because some perished it does not mean that they were worse sinners then anyone else. But he made a point of teaching that unless they repent they will perish too. This suggests to us that there is a connection between a catastrophe of this sort and sin—that God may use it to punish sin. The teaching here seems to be that since God does use sudden disasters to punish sin we would do well to take it as a warning if we are unrepentant.
I am not saying that all those who suffered hardship or died in the recent tornado assault were being punished by God for some sin. We don’t know that. But it is possible. And we who witnessed the tornado ought to take it as a warning, that unless we repent of sins we may be engaged in, the same thing could happen to us.
God not only uses natural disasters to judge and warn individuals, He also uses them to warn and judge whole nations for wrong actions against other nations. There is ample evidence that this has been happening with the United States. God has been judging the U. S. by hurricanes, tornadoes and floods because of our actions toward Israel; our government has been trying to convince Israel to divide their land and give up part of their land. God tells us in Zech. 12: 9, “It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” God is very protective of His people; He will not back down on His promise to protect them.
Bill Koenig in his book Eye to Eye has documented several occurrences of natural disasters correlating with our pressuring Israel. The following is an advertisement for his book, which I found on this website:
What do these major record-setting events have in common?
- Nine of the ten costliest insurance events in U.S. history
- Six of the seven costliest hurricanes in U.S. history
- Three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history
- Nine of the top ten natural disasters in U.S. history ranked by FEMA relief costs
- The two largest terrorism events in U.S. history
All of these major catastrophes transpired on the very same day or within 24-hours of U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush applying pressure on Israel to trade her land for promises of “peace and security,” sponsoring major “land for peace” meetings, making major public statements pertaining to Israel’s covenant land and/or calling for a Palestinian state.
Are each one of these major record-setting events just a coincidence or awe-inspiring signs that God is actively involved in the affairs of Israel?
In this book, Bill Koenig provides undeniable facts and conclusive evidence showing that indeed the leaders of the United States and the world are on a collision course with God over Israel’s covenant land.
Just recently, on May 19th our government announced that Israel must go back to the 1967 borders. Well, we know what happened just after that announcement. Tornadoes bombarded the U. S. On May 22 Joplin was leveled and over 130 people died.
2. As a Sign of Jesus’ Coming. Tornadoes have not been listed as one of the signs of His coming; however, all natural disasters have been getting more frequent and more deadly, just as earthquakes have. And earthquakes are listed as a sign of his coming. So I really think that tornadoes and all natural disasters can go under the same category as earthquakes, particularly because these things are getting more frequent and more deadly—just like a woman’s labor pains. This phenomenon is the sign of His coming, and we really should take notice of it—to ready ourselves and to warn others.
3. To Mature Us. Every trial we face will work to mature us if we believe it and have a joyful attitude toward those trials (Ja. 1:2-4). Destruction and suffering caused by tornadoes is no exception.
4. As an opportunity to serve. As we trust God to comfort us in trials—and He will—we will be in good position to comfort others (2 Cor. 1:3-5). And if we have not been touched by trials, but are around those who are, we should count it as an opportunity for us to reach out and aid those who suffer.
We can complain, blame, or cower in fear when tornadoes come. But if we realize that God is in control of all things and that He in fact is right there in the storm directing it, moving it, that is comforting to me. Why? Because God is good and righteous. And I would rather have a good and righteous God control the weather than a cruel devil or demons or Mother Nature (Who is Mother Nature anyway? How can nature control anything? That’s like saying that the wind has a mind and does what it wants).
If you don’t believe God and you live in sin, you have a very good reason to fear tornadoes. But if you repent of your sin and turn to God, He will comfort you and take your fear away—because God is a God of love.
When I hear of a tornado coming I always get excited and I feel God’s presence. Tornadoes to me are a display of His great and awesome power. I like to look up in the sky and imagine that God is up there demonstrating His power—that He is powerfully and majestically directing the wind (which He is). I love Psalms 104:3:
You lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariots;
You ride upon the wings of the wind.
And we must not forget to pray. Even if we aren’t afraid of the storms, there are many who are. Prayer for prayer warriors can be a great testimony for those who don’t believe. Do you believe God can move the direction of a tornado if we pray? I do. Just as Moses prayed to the Lord to remove the locust from Egypt and the Lord caused a strong west wind to blow the locus into the sea (Ex. 10:16-19), God is able to move a tornado out of our way.
Yes, God is in control of the weather!