Katrina - The Fist of God?Written by Jacob Prasch
By Stan Goodenough
Today is going to be a terrible day for millions of people in the United States as Hurricane Katrina comes roaring ashore on the northern Gulf Coast of the country.
Hopefully, prayerfully, despite the worst-case scenarios being predicted by many weather experts and others in the media, there will not be an enormous loss of life.
But even if no one dies, the thought of hundreds of thousands of people having to leave their homes in the last 48 hours to stream out of the hurricane's path, not knowing what they will come back to, what will happen to their neighborhoods, their houses, their possessions, almost everything they hold dearÃ‚ is a terrifying thought indeed.
Untold numbers of people are about to be made refugees. Life, as many in the south-eastern USA have known it for generations, is about to change, painfully and dramatically.
For millions more citizens in the "greatest nation on earth" - those who are not physically near the advancing stormÃ‚ - their existence is also about to take a turn for the worse.
Katrina has forced oil workers to evacuate rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, stopping the production of 600,000 barrels of oil a day. Seven oil refineries and a major oil import terminal have been closed.
Oil prices have already gone through the roof, soaring to a record high of $70.80 a barrel of crude since last Friday. Things could get much worse.
The US is particularly sensitive to oil price hikes. While comprising just five percent of the world population, Americans daily consume 20 million barrels of oil - 25 percent of the world's total.
Two weeks ago, the monster Katrina was not on any radar screen, although the 2005 hurricane season, which began in July and will not peak until September, had already seen a record number of hurricanes.
On August 14, citizens in the United States, like people around the world, heard about the issuing of an order for the forced evacuation of Jews from parts of Israel's biblical land.
For six days they watched as thousands of weeping people were pulled and carried from their homes, forced to leave their gardens, parks, communities, schools, towns and synagogues, everything they had spent decades building; banned from ever returning again. Those scenes were soon followed by pictures of bulldozers and other earth-moving machinery pulverizing the just-vacated homes into heaps of dust.
While this was taking place, a small tropical depression was forming near the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean. Slowly, as the air began to revolve, the nonthreatening weather system began moving in the direction of Florida.
Yesterday, we in Israel watched as American officials, including President George W. Bush, ordered the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans and its surrounds. That small depression had turned into a frightening fiend. Now we are seeing on our television screens up to a million people being forced to leave their homes. People are weeping on camera, mourning that they are going to lose everything we own; everything we have worked for.
As today unfolds we are bracing to see wind and water pounding homes, whole communities, into the ground.
Is this some sort of bizarre coincidence? Not for those who believe in the God of the Bible and the immutability of His Word.
What America is about to experience is the lifting of God's hand of protection; the implementation of His judgment on the nation most responsible for endangering the land and people of Israel.
The Bible talks about Him shaking His fist over bodies of water, and striking them.
While the "disengagement" plan was purportedly the brainchild of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the United States of America has for more than a decade been the chief sponsor and propeller of a diplomatic process that has dangerously weakened Israel in the face of an overwhelming, growing threat to annihilate her.
In the context of the last 12 years of peace-process history, and not withstanding the desire of many on Israel's left to go ahead with this process, the Sharon disengagement plan was something that was forced on Israel, primarily by the United States.
"It is a fact that Israel's very existence is in grave danger, because of our nation's sponsorship of 'land for peace' plans, which have led her to the brink of war," writes US author William R. Koenig, in his 2004 book Eye to Eye -Ã‚ Facing the consequences of dividing Israel. (21st Century Press, Springfield MO, ISBN 0-9728899-9-X).
On the cover, a grim-faced President Bush is shown looking warily at a massive hurricane threatening his country.
Koenig writes, in a book listing major natural and man-made disasters experienced by the USA during its peace-process efforts in the Middle East:
"America is now experiencing the consequences (curses) of Middle East policies, which have been opposed to God's Word and to the preservation of His covenant land."
As this "storm of a lifetime" wreaks its rage on the southern United States today, non-believers may be tempted to shake their fists at God. Others will cry out for mercy. Will God hear them?
Our prayer is that He will.
"Pray for us. Pray for all of New Orleans," a weeping woman resident of the city pleaded on an international television network Sunday evening as Katrina barreled its way towards her.
Many in America couldn't have cared less about Jews being forced out of their homes and losing everything they have built. Here in Israel, many Jews will be feeling for the Americans who are now facing similar tragedies, tragedies brought about by the forces of heaven rather than through the political power of men.
Can't you see the link, America? Won't you see the link?
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