Obedience and Wisdom

Second, we should be obedient and use godly wisdom to avoid being caught in any of God’s wrath that is aimed at the world. Noah had to build his ark, Lot had to head for the hills, the Jerusalem Christians had to flee from their city; all of these had to obey God in order to avoid getting caught in His judgment upon the wicked.

If I lived in a hurricane zone, I’d build a strong house that could not be blown down or a cheap house that could easily be replaced! And I’d pray. Every Christian should pray and remain sensitive to the One whom Jesus promised would “disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13) so that he can avoid God’s wrath upon the world.

We read in Acts 11 of the prophet Agabus who warned of an impending famine that could have been potentially disastrous to Christians living in Judea. Consequently, an offering was received by Paul and Barnabas for their relief (see Acts 11:28-30).

Can such things happen today? Certainly, because the Holy Spirit hasn’t changed, nor has God’s love waned. It is unfortunate, however, that some in the body of Christ are not open to such gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and thus, because they “quench the Spirit” (1 Thes. 5:19) miss out on some of God’s best.

In his autobiography, the late president and founder of the Full Gospel Businessmen, Demos Shakarian, recounts how God spoke through an illiterate boy-prophet to the Christians living in Armenia in the late 1800’s. He warned them of an impending holocaust, and as a result, thousands of Pentecostal Christians who believed in such supernatural manifestations fled the country, including Shakarian’s own grandparents. Shortly thereafter, a Turkish invasion of Armenia resulted in the slaughter of over a million Armenians, including those Christians who refused to heed God’s warning.

We would be wise to remain open to the Holy Spirit and be obedient to God, or else it is quite possible that we might experience a dose of God’s wrath that He really doesn’t want us to experience. Elisha once instructed a woman: “Arise and go with your household, and sojourn wherever you can sojourn; for the Lord has called for a famine, and it shall even come on the land for seven years” (2 Kin. 8:1). What if that woman hadn’t listened to the prophet?

In the book of Revelation we read an interesting warning to God’s people to come out of “Babylon” lest they be caught in God’s judgment upon her:

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her [Babylon], my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities….For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong” (Rev. 18:4-5,8, emphasis added).

In summary, God is sovereign over the weather and natural disasters. God has repeatedly proven Himself as Lord over nature in the Bible, from His causing forty days of rain during Noah’s day, to His raining hailstones as well as sending other natural plagues upon Israel’s enemies, to His stirring up the wind against Jonah’s boat, to His rebuking the storm in the Sea of Galilee. He is, as Jesus said, “Lord of heaven and earth” (Matt. 11:25). For additional specific scriptural proof of God’s lordship over nature, see Josh. 10:11; Job 38:22-38; Jer. 5:24; 10:13; 31:35; Ps. 78:45-49; 105:16; 107:33-37; 135:6-7; 147:7-8,15-18; Matt. 5:45; Acts 14:17.