Editors Comment: Found this article on TheTrumpet.com website and thought it was apt in dissecting the power of God through a biblical lens. No matter how powerful we think we are, nature (read God’s power) is infinitely more powerful. It’s all very humbling and should get us to see how insignificant we really are when stacked up against the power of God.
A Volcano Burps And The World Staggers
The Trumpet.com, April 22, 2010
It is easy in this age of spectacular scientific advancement to forget how fragile and fleeting civilization is.
From a young age we’re groomed to trust implicitly in the human brain. We think technology and intellectual advancement have made mankind more resilient, more self-sufficient, and much less susceptible to catastrophe. Sophisticated medical practices and designer drugs alleviate suffering and stay the hand of death. Food crops are genetically modified to withstand drought and disease and to produce higher yields. Complicated social welfare programs are a safety net for millions. The powers of “science” have mitigated our vulnerability to disaster and chaos.
These achievements have fostered a fatal and widespread false sense of security.
Every now and then we get a stark glimpse into the fragility of human existence. A blood test reveals the presence of a fatal disease; a freak accident takes a friend; a tsunami swamps an entire region; a hurricane swallows an entire city; an earthquake snatches a quarter of a million lives.
A volcano shuts down an entire continent.
When Iceland’s volcano first began burping and belching, few outside the scientific community paid it much attention. But last week when the ominous cloud of volcanic ash began drifting toward Britain and Europe, people began to take notice. By Thursday, the ash cloud had finally arrived—and the mayhem began.
Planes stopped flying, first in Britain, then across northern Europe, and finally as far south as Italy. Initially hundreds of flights were canceled, then thousands, then tens of thousands. Since last Thursday, more than 100,000 flights have been canceled globally as a result of the ash cloud billowing from Iceland’s volcano.
Around the world, more than a million passengers were affected. Hundreds of thousands were stranded. Airports became giant dormitories. Thousands slept on dirty floors or makeshift beds; others checked into hotels, even as the hotels jacked up prices. Many spent hundreds on restaurant meals, while some of those strapped for cash survived on crackers and bottled water supplied by airport authorities.
The chaos rippled around the globe. In Kenya, thousands of day laborers responsible for harvesting and packaging flowers for export via plane to Europe were laid off. In Japan, factories lacking parts needed from Europe closed down. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that the crisis cost the U.S. economy $650 million, approximately $130 million per day.
The airline industry was hit especially hard. On Tuesday, the International Air Transport Association (iata) revealed that the disruptions caused by the volcano had cost the airline industry more than $1.7 billion in lost revenues. “For an industry that lost $9.4 billion last year and was forecast to lose a further $2.8 billion in 2010, this was a devastating crisis,” iata Director General Giovanni Bisignani said. According to Bisignani, the volcano inflicted more damage to the airline industry than 9/11, when U.S. airspace was shut down for three days.
Now we’re learning that more volcanic eruptions and major disruptions could be imminent. “The best-case scenario is the worst is over, but I have my doubts,” author and physicist Michio Kaku told Good Morning America yesterday. “The more likely scenario is that this is a repeat of 1821, where for 14 months that very same volcano sputtered. We’ll have to look for windows to shoot airplanes through or over.”
The worst-case scenario? Scientists believe the current eruption could spark the explosion of Iceland’s Katla volcano, which is only 10 miles away and is 10 times more powerful. In fact, as Associated Press reported, “the last three times that Eyjafjallajokull erupted, Katla did as well.”
There has not been any major damage or significant casualties. Nevertheless, Iceland’s volcano has upended the lives of hundreds of thousands and inflicted a major blow to an economic system already in deep trauma. It really is humbling: A small volcano in Iceland burps, and much of the civilized world staggers!
Doesn’t it make you feel small and powerless? Mankind has figured out how to traverse oceans and continents at 30,000 feet in gigantic hunks of metal weighing hundreds of tons. Yet it is utterly helpless when thousands of these magnificent machines are grounded by the eruption of a relatively small volcano in a tiny nation!
Man’s trust in “science” and the supposed might of the human intellect does more than create a false sense of security. It deafens him to the voice of God. The Bible overflows with instruction about God’s presence in world events, including how He specifically uses natural disasters as a means of communication. In Deuteronomy 28, for example, God outlines how He blesses for obedience and curses for disobedience. Notice verse 24: “The Lord will rain powder on your land; and dust from the skies shall come down upon you, until you are a desert!” (Fenton).
Scientists inform us that the clashing and creaking of the Earth’s tectonic plates is strictly a natural phenomenon. But notice what God says: “You will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire” (Isaiah 29:6).
What will God achieve by punishing mankind with natural disasters? Ultimately, He wants mankind to stop trusting in itself and learn to invest its trust and hope in Him. God despises mankind’s tendency to trust the human heart and brain. Bible prophecy shows that God is now bringing man to the point where he will see his frailty—and finally learn to trust God for sustenance and protection!
Put simply, God seeks repentance. And to those who turn to Him with humble hearts, He offers individual protection—escape—from the chaos and destruction that the Bible reveals is now descending upon mankind. We must look into the cauldron of Iceland’s volcano and the chaos it caused globally and see our own frailty. Bible prophecy tells us plainly that more volcanic eruptions, more earthquakes, and more chaos and disaster are imminent. It also tells us that we can escape. How?
By being humbled and turning ourselves over to God. To learn how to do this, request a free copy of our booklet Repentance Toward God.