by J.L. Robb
“Earthquakes have been used distinctively by God to highlight some of the most important events of the Bible. The three main purposes for biblical earthquakes are judgment, deliverance, and communication. The lesson is obvious—God does not do anything really big without emphasizing it with an earthquake! In our fast-paced, man-centered, technology-based society of the twenty-first century, God would have us pause and consider His sovereign nature and the program He has been accomplishing in the world.” Steven A. Austin, PhD
The Bible is full of earthquakes, and studies of the floor of the Dead Sea show a 4,000-year history of significant earthquake events in Israel. The last days described in the Book of Revelation claim there will be a couple of other significant earthquake events, the last of which is described as the greatest earthquake in Earth’s history. There appears to also be a volcano event somewhere on the horizon.
Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
I have friends in from Ecuador, Mike and Julie Harper. Julie’s Mom died a few weeks ago, age 95; and Helen was my next door neighbor for many years. We played Scrabble nearly every night and enjoyed a nice glass of wine, or two. The Ecuador earthquake last month hit the Manta area about a week before Helen went to be with the Heavenly Host.
They moved from Florida to Manta, Ecuador about a year ago, and experienced their first earthquake. It was a doozy, 7.8 magnitude. It was the strongest quake to hit Ecuador in 40 years. They did what good spirited people do, loving their neighbors (strangers) as themselves. They are both strong in their Christian beliefs and walk the walk.
After the funeral, Mike asked if Julie could stay a little longer while he went back to take care of stuff you have to take care of when a tragedy like this happens. Mike flew back last week to join his friends, helping the helpless. It is very much third-world in many areas.
Of the earthquake, Mike and Julie both say it was the most frightening full minute they’ve ever experienced. Their beachfront condo made it but many buildings in Manta, including part of the airport have been destroyed. There are 661 dead and 28,000 homeless. Some of the charity organizations are only charitable it seems if they get proper recognition.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4 NIV
Meanwhile, the helpless and homeless live in tarp cities under the daily 92-degree heat.
The Jewish prophets made predictions about events that would occur during their time and many predictions about a future time, known as the last days and the time of Jacob’s troubles (the time of Israel’s troubles). Some of the prophecies indicate that earthquakes will become numerous and will happen in places that do not have much of an earthquake history.
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. Luke 21:11 NIV
Like earthquakes, volcanoes get plenty of scriptural attention.
The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him. Nahum 1:5-6 NIV
There is debate as to whether earthquake and volcanic activity is increasing. There is the same story we often hear: There are more earthquakes because we have better sensors for detection. That has some validity, but we have been sensing earthquakes for decades.
I decided to research earthquake history between 1970 and 2015 with 5.0 magnitude or greater. They have doubled. As far as earthquakes in unusual areas, one needs look no further than Oklahoma. Oklahoma does have an earthquake history but not much. Oklahoma has now surpassed California as the earthquake capital.
Japan had two large earthquakes a week before Ecuador, and now the Japanese science community is concerned that the island community will split in two, or three or four. The quakes seem to be lining up and occurring more often. We have better sensors.
May 14-15, 2016, four days ago, five volcanoes simultaneously erupted: Pavlof (United States), Santa Maria (Guatemala), Kluchevskoy (Russia), Sinabung (Indonesia) and Nyiragongo (Congo). A “new” volcano is erupting off the coast of Oregon and several other places. There are more than 40 active volcanoes, which means there’s a lot of heat down there.
Mount St. Helen’s is acting up again as the magma plug increases in size. Kilauea has been erupting for decades.
In the story of the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11, many attempts are made on their lives, to no avail. Whoever tries to kill or harm them are instantly disposed of by fire. However, it is written that eventually, after three-and-a-half years of preaching in Jerusalem, they will somehow be killed. After three days they will come back to life, the third and final woe begins; and Jerusalem suffers the first of two earthquakes. This earthquake will destroy a tenth of Jerusalem and kill 7,000. This is because the Israelis paid no attention to the Two Witnesses and their message that Christ really was and is the Messiah.
As the world squabbles over the abnormality of boys and girls going to the bathroom and showers together, somehow believing this is moral, God is blowing up the world. We are not paying attention. He created us; not the other way around. Before the flood God was going to kill every animal and plant on Earth, He was so fed up with us.
I think sometimes we believe God never gets fed up with our shenanigans. That is a huge mistake. The ending was written in the beginning, and the ending is supposed to have a lot of global warming, climate change and geological disorder. It was God’s idea before it was Al Gore’s.
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Revelation 16:17-19 NIV
I pray for the safety of my friends Mike and Julie. They are returning to Ecuador in a week to see how they can help. Ecuador had two more earthquakes today, a 6.7 and a 6.8.
… the cities of the nations collapsed.