God has warned sinners that He will judge sin. He has provided an “ark” — that is, somewhere we can flee for forgiveness and safety. It is the Lord Jesus Christ!
Hurricane Harvey was historic. It is hard to imagine the powerful devastation that it brought to the Texas coast. Harvey has been the greatest natural disaster on record in the continental United States — being described only by means of the combination of the power of previous hurricanes. Statistically, Harvey can be described as follows:
- 51.9 inches of rain — (49.76 is Houston’s annual average) falling in five days. This is enough rain to cover California, Alaska, and Texas with 1 inch of water.
- 132 mph sustained winds
- 19 trillion gallons of water flooded the Houston metro area — that is enough water to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to the brim with water … 300,000 times!
- 32,000 displaced into shelters
- Damage estimates surpass $190 billion
These numbers astound us — we have very little with which to make a comparison so that we can understand. The people of Houston have been completely devastated by the power, cruelty, and aftermath of Harvey. Although the deaths associated with this storm are truly tragic, relatively few people lost their lives. This is due to the number of people who took precautions and prepared for the sheer intensity of the storm by fleeing Houston through both mandatory evacuations (779,000) or by voluntary evacuation (980,000). Such foresight saved countless lives. And now … Irma is knocking on the door of Florida!
Long ago, there were warnings about an even greater storm - a storm unlike the world has ever seen since. This storm resulted in a deluge — of truly biblical proportion. The Scriptures state: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the flood-gates of the sky were opened. The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11-12). The apostle Peter described it this way: “by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water” (2 Peter 3:6).
At that time, because of the refusal to heed the warnings of the severity of the storm, the population of the entire world perished! Only eight people were saved because of their faith in God’s promise to deliver them — “… the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water” (1 Peter 3:20). God had provided a warning of what He was about to do — judge the world by water because of the continual and pervasive wickedness that characterized people. Anyone willing to trust Him and repent, God was willing to spare. Yet only eight people responded in faith to be saved.
Likewise today, God has warned sinners that He will judge sin. He has provided an “ark” — that is, somewhere we can flee for forgiveness and safety. It is the Lord Jesus Christ! Anyone who turns to Christ Jesus in faith, believing that He died for their sins and lives to grant them forgiveness, will be saved. May we continue to bear that message of God’s saving grace to a world about to know the deluge of God’s wrath.