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Friday, May 7, 2010

5/7/10- The Pollution of the Sea

By this you will know that I am Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile and it will be changed into blood. (Exodus 7:17)

The second angel sounded his trumpet...A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures of the sea died...(Rev. 8:9)

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go, pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth."  The first angel went and poured out its bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.  The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died.  The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.  Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: "You are just in these judgements, you who are and who were , the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve. (Revelation 16:1-6)

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world...When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:25-28)

When God was about to deliver his people from Egypt, one of the signs was a plague in which water was turned into blood.  The Nile was a god to the Egyptians and a chief source of their economic prosperity.  The book of The Revelation of John speaks of one third of the sea and the fresh water being polluted at the end times, as a sign of God's wrath (plague) upon the people.  The intention of such plagues was to help people turn to the true God and away from false gods (the Nile, money).  I believe God is still at work trying to get the attention of people who are too busy with their own entertainment, sports, and money-earning to pay Him attention. My take on this oil spill is not that it is the catastrophe finally prophesied in Revelation (which sounds more and more like a nuclear catastrophe- hailstone-like things falling from heaven, grass burned up, sores on people, water polluted).  Yet such catastrophes should not be separated from the idea of God's hand trying to bring us back to Him.  An oil spill has the same affect as turning the water to blood- it pollutes the water so it is unusable and unfit for habitation and fishing.  There have been many signs that should turn us back to God for help and protection.  We are in a nine year war in Afghanistan (and Iraq); the mortgage bubble/double digit unemployment;  terrorist plots that just happen to be stopped before a true catastrophe hits (warnings); the oil spill; and more.  I find it really ironic that on the National Day of Prayer- that was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge last month- was the same day that the stock market took its largest one day plunge in its history-ever.  Even if it did recover.  I am a great believer in providence, and that God speaks to us in the circumstances around us.  In Revelation at the end, the people refused to see the plagues as a sign of God and stubbornly refused to repent.  Today in the NY Times there is a full page ad blasting belief in God.  I hope our hearts are not as stubborn as those who will live in the times of the last plagues.  My prayer is that we, as a people, will wake up and come back to Him.

Prayer: Lord, have mercy on us as a people.  Draw us, who have strayed away from you back into your fold.  Help us to turn away from doubt and repent.

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