For nearly four decades, marriage has been cast into considerable controversy. Psychologists, sociologists and marriage “experts” have viciously—and successfully—attacked the most valuable institution given to mankind. As a result, marriage has come to be considered an injurious undertaking, especially for women. The marriage institution is in near fatal decline: Divorce is common, and more and more people are choosing not to marry at all.
In 2011, a study by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia revealed Americans’ disenchantment with marriage. From 1970 to 2010 there was a 50 percent decline in the annual number of marriages per 1,000 unmarried adults. Current statistics indicate that roughly half of American marriages end in divorce.
But there is hope. There exists a renewed effort by many to restore marriage’s good reputation. More and more books and articles are highlighting the benefits and the importance of marriage. Even an avowed supporter of cohabitation-without-marriage stated in the New York Times in June 2012, “What I have learned is this: While ‘happily ever after’ may indeed be a farce, there is something to be said for uttering ‘I do.’”
What is to be said for marriage? Consider what some of the latest research is saying on the subject.
Financial strength is often mentioned as the most important benefit to marriage. A Rasmussen poll released in January 2012 showed that marriage offers better financial prospects. Families where the couple is married typically have higher household incomes than those with unmarried couples. This is true even when only one spouse holds a job. Statistics show that married men make 11 percent more than men who have never married. Economists and social scientists call this effect the “marriage premium.”
To what can this male marriage premium be attributed? Married men tend to be more conscientious and productive than their unmarried counterparts. A man who is married is often thinking more responsibly, since he has a family to support, so he is 1) likelier to go after a higher paying job, and 2) a more responsible individual and thus better capable of holding down a higher paying job. In addition, married men generally have wives who spend more time with household duties, which allows their husbands to devote more time to job responsibilities. Advancement and increased pay are the likely result. This means that even if the wife is not employed outside the home, her work in the home contributes to the overall income of the marriage. Two are better than one.
It is also well documented that married couples tend to have a greater accumulation of wealth. In their book The Case for Marriage, Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher show that the longer people remain married, the greater their wealth. Conversely, the longer that divorced people remain unmarried, the fewer their assets. For example, many married couples tend to own their own home, adding to their assets. Studies cited by Waite and Gallagher showed that couples married less than five years had a median net worth of $96,000. Spouses married 15 to 19 years had a net worth of $125,000, while couples married 35 years or more had assets totaling nearly $158,000. In contrast, people who had been divorced less than two years held a net worth of $41,900. Those divorced for 15 to 19 years had a net worth of $21,400. Those who remained single more than 20 years or more were worth only $7,200.
Ample evidence shows that the majority of single-parent families, especially those headed by a single female, struggle financially. The 2010 Census showed that “Of the single-mother families with children under 18, nearly 41 percent were living below the poverty line.” Single-father families do better. The census also found that only 9 percent of the married-couple families with children under 18 fall below the poverty line. So, explain the marriage advocates, if you’re married, you are likelier to be better off financially.
Promotes Good Health
Evidence proves that a happy marriage is good for your health. Medical studies show that married couples who spend a lot of time together and share an emotionally supportive relationship tend to have lower blood pressure. (Couples in negative marriages tend to have high blood pressure and other cardiovascular ailments such as thicker heart walls.) This suggests that loving couples help each other better meet the challenges, stresses and strains of life. In addition, compatible marriages strengthen each partner’s immune system, digestive system and prevent emotional problems like anxiety and depression.
In 2010, the New York Times, citing a study from The Journal of Health and Social Behavior, reported that “when the married people became single again—either by divorce or because of the death of a spouse—they suffered a decline in physical health from which they never fully recovered. These men and women had 20 percent more chronic health issues, like heart disease and diabetes, than those who were still married to their first husband or wife by middle age.” The Times also reported that divorced and widowed people aged less gracefully.
Medical experts believe that marriage is especially good for younger men. Young married men tend to be more cautious of their health, get regular check-ups and greatly improve their diet. Single men are three times more likely to die of cirrhosis of the liver, the California Healthy Marriages Coalition reports. And the U.S. Department of Justice says that male victims of violent crime are nearly four times more likely to be single than married.
Married sex is also better for a young man’s heath—and a woman’s too. Monogamous sex eliminates the chances of catching a sexually transmitted disease. The stress, uncertainness and emotional ambiguity that comes from promiscuous sex has been well publicized, but unfortunately, not believed. Married sex is better sex. The mental, emotional and physical satisfaction that is produced by bonded and committed love has no parallel.
On top of all that, marriage tends to have a noticeable dampening effect on risky behavior in young men, decreasing participation in activities like bungee jumping, parachuting and drunk driving.
The Overlooked Benefit
Above all, marriage offers awesome benefits to children. Nurturing, teaching and properly rearing children is the most important case for marriage. The 21st-century liberal media have gone over the top in insisting that same-sex “marriage” is better for children. Time is showing that this is a terrible lie foisted on a deer-eyed public. No other form of marriage has the incredible power to bring into being a new human life as does the sexual union between a man and a woman. No other union other than that of two opposite-gendered parents can produce healthy, emotionally stable, successful children.
The well-being of children has plunged with the decline of marriage. The rates of child abuse (physical and sexual), neglect, adolescent and teen crime, adolescent and teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed as adults have divorced and forsaken marriage. The problem is growing worse.
In February 2012, the New York Times reported that more than half of the births to white, American, middle-class women under 30 occur outside of marriage. These figures represent a shift of unwed pregnancy from poor women and minorities to white women with some college education. “The shift is affecting children’s lives,” the article stated. “Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.” As a nation we must come to see how adults, in full pursuit of private selfish desires, are crippling the future generation.
That is not to say that children who grow up in a single-parent family or divorced family are doomed; many have been successful. Yet, children living with happily married parents have distinct advantages that last long into adulthood. Statistics show that children of married couples are healthier physically and that they maintain their health throughout adulthood. Children of married couples grow up in a stable environment, often living in the same house until ready to move out on their own. A family history of living in one home lays the foundation for children to want to build their own families. Most importantly, children of married couples experience specialized attention from both Dad and Mom. Moms provide the nurturing that all children need. Dads provide practical know-how and crucial emotional stability. It is support from Dad and Mom that gives children the emotional strength and physical confidence to meet the challenges of life.
Children’s access to Dad is of prime importance for the development of self-esteem and confidence. Fathermag.com reports, “An increased amount of father-child involvement has proven to increase a child’s social stability, educational achievement, and even their potential to have a solid marriage as an adult.” Studies show that children are more likely to enjoy school and participate in extracurricular activities when their fathers are involved in their education. Waite and Gallagher cite a national study that shows that 81 percent of children in two-parent families said they get help with homework from their dads, while just 56 percent of children from single-parent families made the same claim. Lack of support from Dad could be one of the main reasons why children of single-parent families tend to do less well in school.
The vital importance of marriage can never be overstated. When the love between a man and a woman blooms into a marriage, an incredible power for great good is unleashed. A well-mated couple—the blending of two lives into one—produces a shared personal completeness that cannot be achieved any other way. Marriage stands firm as an honored institution that cannot be tarnished with human misuse.
While married love is incredibly good for men and women, it is critically necessary to raise happy, healthy and successful children. Looking at the lives of children, we see the future of humanity in the making. What will that future be like? Only those who understand the importance of marriage can ensure that future is bright.
Give Germany credit. As America unwisely abdicates its leadership role in the Middle East, Berlin is quietly and steadily positioning itself to play a decisive role in the future of this important region. Right now, German foreign policy in the Middle East isn’t controversial, overtly dramatic or eye-catching. Especially not compared to events in Egypt, Gaza, Syria and Iran.
But you watch: Germany is about to emerge as the key player in the Middle East.
Germany’s presence in the Middle East, politically, commercially and militarily, is probably more significant than most people realize. Germany contributes to the war in Afghanistan largely because, as Ron Fraser has explained, doing so gives Berlin a military toehold on Iran’s eastern flank. German naval forces are patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa, and German naval vessels are also patrolling Lebanon’s coastline as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (unifil). Germany is selling military hardware, tanks, weapons, missiles and the like to multiple Gulf States. More recently, Germany has stepped up its involvement in Syria’s civil war. Berlin recently said it’s ready to send surface-to-air missiles to Turkey (to defend itself against Syria) and will dispatch up to 170 Bundeswehr personnel to operate these missiles. Earlier today, Germany defied its European peers and stated that it would not support the bid to upgrade the Palestinians status at the UN. In nearly every instance, Germany is assuming a responsibility that America has shirked or is in the process of shirking.
When it comes to leading the Middle East, and in particular, supporting Israel and opposing Iran and its radical Islamist allies, Germany is the new America!
This is the context in which we must view Germany’s participation in the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. From the moment war broke out, Berlin made it clear whose side it was on. On November 16, a spokesman for the German government expressed empathy for Israel and placed blame squarely on Hamas. “Hamas in Gaza is responsible for the outbreak of violence,” spokesman Georg Streiter told reporters. “There is no justification for the shooting of rockets at Israel, which has led to massive suffering of the civilian population.” Streiter also stated that Israel’s government had the “right and obligation” to protect its population.
On November 25, Germany’s chancellor restated Berlin’s position and pledged moral and political support to Israel. “Every country has the right to defense, self-defense and the protection of its citizens,” Angela Merkel stated. The chancellor later stated sovereign governments don’t merely have a right to protect citizens, it is their moral and political duty.
On November 19, two days before Secretary Clinton arrived in the region, Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, traveled to Israel to meet with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian president. Following his meeting with Netanyahu, Westerwelle said brokering a ceasefire is a top priority for Berlin. Israel’s prime minister was encouraged by the visit and invited Berlin to play a key role in peace talks. “I believe that Germany can have a constructive role in seeking an end to this conflict and a long-term arrangement, such that these terror weapons are not introduced into the Gaza Strip,” he stated.
From the moment the war started, Germany’s position was clear and consistent: Hamas initiated the war, and Berlin would stand by Israel as it exerted its right and responsibility to defend itself.
Compare Berlin’s response to that of the White House, which, as Stephen Flurry recently noted, pledged support for Israel initially, but within a day or two had begun sending signals that Israel needed to pull back its Gaza campaign.
Even now, with the war over and a cease-fire in place, Germany remains interested. On Tuesday, Süddeutsche Zeitung, a popular German-language paper, cited a report from the German foreign ministry that said Berlin continues to monitor the situation closely, and is seeking the “rapid reactivation” of the European Union Border Assistance Mission (eubam) at the Egypt-Gaza Rafah border crossing. (eubam existed for two years between 2005 and 2007, and ended when Hamas took power of the Gaza Strip.) Germany wants a EU contingent stationed at the crossing to stop the flow of weapons into Gaza. According to Zeitung, the German foreign ministry document distributed to EU member countries this week stated that “a special European force must be activated for the mission.”
Germany, it seems, is ready right now to dispatch EU soldiers (“peacekeepers”) to Gaza!
Consider too: While the news of a possible EU mission at the Rafah crossing only broke this week, the purpose of the proposed mission gels almost perfectly with a statement made by Israel’s prime minister nearly 10 days ago following his meeting with Germany’s foreign minister. On November 19, Netanyahu stated, “I believe that Germany can have a constructive role in seeking an end to this conflict and a long-term arrangement, such that these terror weapons are not introduced into the Gaza Strip.”
Add it all up, and it appears this week’s plan for a EU border mission was quite likely formulated by Germany and Israel during the height of the recent war. If this is true, then this suggests some significant realities. First, it indicates that the German-Israel relationship is stronger and more advanced than most people know. Second, it shows that Israel clearly believes Germany possesses the desire and the means to preserve and defend Israel’s interests. Third, it indicates that Germany is replacing America as Israel’s go-to ally in the region.
There’s also a fourth reality: Israel’s growing reliance on Germany marks the thrilling fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
If you’ve been reading the Trumpet for a while, you probably know the prophecy well. We find it in Hosea 5:13: “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” The “wound” here, as Gerald Flurry has explained, refers to Israel’s peace process with the Palestinians. Like an infected wound that weeps and oozes and won’t heal, Israel’s “land for peace” process grows more and more painful, even to the point of jeopardizing the health of the body. Eventually, as it becomes painfully obvious that peace is impossible—and with the Jewish state likely facing annihilation from Iran, Egypt and their radical Islamist proxies—Israel (biblical Judah) turns to Assyria (biblical Germany) for help and protection.
This, in essence, is exactly what has happened over the past few weeks!
Just watch and see: Regional trends are only going to intensify and accelerate Israel’s reliance on Germany and Europe. Think about it. The peace process has not only failed spectacularly, it has actually strengthened the position of Israel’s enemies. Radical Islam—be it in the form of Hamas or Hezbollah, or states like Iran, Egypt and Libya—is quickly encroaching on the Jewish state, making further conflicts like the recent one inevitable. Next, Israel’s relationship with America, once a powerful ally, is at its lowest point in decades, and will only deteriorate under four more years of the current administration. Meanwhile, Germany is steadily developing a stronger reputation and presence, politically and militarily, throughout the Middle East, and is emerging as an increasingly capable opponent of Iran and radical Islam.
When you look at it like this, Israel really only has two options: It can turn to Germany, or it can turn to God.
Sadly, there’s no indication it’s about to turn to God.
Jerusalem—During the “Arab Spring” that seized nations throughout the Middle East, conditions were relatively quiet for Israel. But analysts knew that wouldn’t last: It was only a matter of time before the radical Islamists would turn their wrath on the Jewish state.
Now, it has happened. Back in 2010, before the Arab Spring swept through the Middle East, Hamas fired 231 rockets into the Jewish nation from its home base in the Gaza Strip. Last year, that number nearly tripled to 627. This year, before Israel launched “Operation Pillar of Defense” on November 14, Hamas had fired about 800 rockets into Israel. And during the week-long Israeli offensive, Hamas countered by launching another 900 missiles into Israel.
Smoke in Sudan
To understand the latest escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza, we need to go back to the night of October 23 in the city of Khartoum, Sudan. In the middle of that night, four military jets flying in from the east attacked the Yarmouk weapons factory in the Sudanese capital. The Sudanese government said the high-tech operation—which jammed Sudan’s radar and virtually destroyed the factory—could only have been completed by Israel.
After the attack, hundreds of protesters in Khartoum took to the streets, shouting and waving signs with anti-Israel slogans. In Gaza, the day after the weapons factory exploded, Hamas militants fired 79 rockets at Israel. The day before that, Hamas had launched only three rockets into Israel.
So why would Gaza respond to the bombing of a weapons factory in Sudan by escalating its own rocket campaign against Israel?
Because that Sudanese factory was supplying Gaza with weapons that significantly upgraded Hamas’s arsenals. And guess who owned and operated that factory in Sudan? A Stratfor analysis says: “There were indications that Iran had been using this facility to stockpile and possibly assemble weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, guided anti-tank missiles and long-range Fajr-5 rockets capable of reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from Gaza” (Nov. 16, 2012; emphasis added throughout).
If you remember, five days after the Khartoum factory blew up, two Iranian Navy vessels docked at a port in Sudan for a three-day visit. The official line was that Iran paid Sudan a visit to “convey a message of peace and friendship.” But this was much more than a friendly visit, as noted in the Wall Street Journal: “Israel views Sudan, a longtime ally of Iran, as a conduit for arms through Egypt to the militant group Hamas in Gaza Strip, according to several international and regional analysts. Iran, meanwhile, remains a major supplier of weapons to Sudan, according to Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based publication” (Oct. 30, 2012).
Now fast forward to November 14, when Israel launched Pillar of Defense. It began with the assassination of Hamas’s top military chief, Ahmed Jaabari. On November 17, the New York Times wrote, “When Israel assassinated the top Hamas military commander in Gaza on Wednesday, setting off the current round of fierce fighting, it was aiming not just at a Palestinian leader but at a supply line of rockets from Iran that have for the first time given Hamas the ability to strike as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”
Not surprisingly, the Times blamed Israel for “setting off” the latest round of fighting. But leaving aside the anti-Israel bias, the story is dead right about the regional powerhouse that supplies the terrorist camp in Gaza: the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The supply line worked like this: Fajr-5 rockets were shipped from Iran to the Sudan factory, trucked across the desert through Egypt, disassembled into parts that could be squeezed through the Sinai tunnels, and then reassembled by Hamas operatives in Gaza. Before Israel began Pillar of Defense, Hamas was believed to have had about 100 of these Fajr-5 missiles.
The sophisticated weaponry gave Hamas capabilities that, as far as Israel is concerned, crossed a red line. The attacks aimed at Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv area were never possible for Hamas before because its own rockets couldn’t reach that far. But as the Times piece revealed, Iran has significantly enhanced the firepower of its proxy in Gaza.
“The smuggling route involves salaried employees from Hamas along the way, Iranian technical experts traveling on forged passports and government approval in Sudan, Israeli officials said” (ibid).
It’s a sophisticated operation, which is why Israel had been working for weeks to break it up.
Evidence has also emerged proving that Hamas commanders have gone to Syria and Iran to be trained by the Revolutionary Guards. Hamas is building an army, upgrading its weapons capabilities and receiving training from Iran—all because it wants to wipe Israel off the map.
That is the necessary context to the latest escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas.
Cairo and Tripoli
Iran is the head of the Middle East’s anti-Israel movement, and is working arduously behind the scenes to bring the Jewish nation down. But Iran has rallied other key players to its cause—namely Egypt and Libya—and is working to morph these nations into bastions of radical Islamism. The conflict between Israel and Gaza shows the success Iran has had toward this end.
Back in October, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gave Hamas a hearty endorsement, saying, “The Palestinian people will not be abandoned. We stand with them against any aggression.” Then, on November 14, Morsi recalled Egypt’s ambassador to Israel to protest the Jewish state’s military operations. A statement by Morsi’s spokesman explained the move: “President Morsi has followed the Israeli brutal assault in which a number of martyrs and sons of the Palestinian people were killed. On this basis he has recalled the Egyptian ambassador from Israel; has ordered the Egyptian representative at the United Nations to call for an emergency meeting at the Security Council … and summoned the Israeli ambassador in Egypt in protest over the assault.”
Added to this, Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party—the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood—threatened to get involved in the conflict. According to a statement released by the Brotherhood on November 14, Egypt “will not allow the Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression, as in the past.”
Then there is Libya. Tripoli’s rapidly shifting political landscape has taken on great significance for militants in Gaza because the collapse of Muammar Qadhafi’s government created other supply options for Hamas. Shortly after Qadhafi’s ouster, many Libyan military storehouses were raided and the equipment was sold off. Most of these munitions were driven across Egypt and brought into Gaza.
It is amazing how many doors the Arab Spring has opened for Iran and its proxies.
The Israelis well know what is going on in Sudan, Libya, Egypt and Gaza. And since they have little support from the international community, they have struck hard at these supply lines that lead to Gaza. Hamas has struck back, clearly revealing Iran’s heavy involvement in strengthening its proxy.
Iran’s footprints—and those of radicalizing Egypt and Libya—are all over this conflict.
Who Will Mediate?
Bible prophecy says the rapid spread of radical Islam will continue until it finally collides with a superior enemy: a German-led European Union. Daniel 11:40 shows that a German-led “king of the north” will soon enter into the glorious land—or Jerusalem. The Hebrew word for “enter” in this passage indicates a peaceful entry.
On November 19, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian president in an effort to calm the recent violence. After meeting with Netanyahu, Westerwelle said brokering a ceasefire is a top priority for Berlin.
Netanyahu’s response reveals Israel’s eagerness to invite Germany into a key role in the negotiations: “Israel can’t long tolerate this kind of situation where our cities are under constant rocket attacks. I prefer diplomatic solutions, I hope that we can get one, but if not we have every right to defend ourselves with other means and we shall use them. I believe that Germany can have a constructive role in seeking an end to this conflict and a long-term arrangement, such that these terror weapons are not introduced into the Gaza Strip.”
As more Israelis acknowledge that the U.S.’s broken-willed leaders are too fatigued by America’s military involvement in other conflicts, and as pressure on Israel intensifies, the Jews will turn to Germany for defense assistance. Netanyahu’s statement is one of several signs in recent months that Israel is already looking keenly in Berlin’s direction. It is only a matter of time before Israel invites the German-led EU into the Holy Land.
This decision will not end well for Israel. The prophecy in Daniel shows that Germany will commit a violent double cross against Israel, and establish its headquarters in Jerusalem.
This is a sobering reality. But it is intricately tied to the most hope-filled event this war-torn planet has ever experienced: the return of Jesus Christ to usher in an age of peace for Israelis, Palestinians, Iranians, Germans, Egyptians, Libyans and all other men!
In the history of storms hitting America, Hurricane Sandy was unique. Meteorologists said it had no known precedent: Three separate storms collided, producing a megastorm that slammed a 1,000-mile stretch of America’s eastern seaboard. It was described as a “perfect storm,” a “Frankenstorm,” the “storm of the century.”
Its timing amplified the damage: The hurricane-force tidal surge coincided with monthly high tides, causing record floods that swamped flood barriers. Water inundated homes and wiped out roads, infrastructure and whole coastal communities. In New York and New Jersey, flooded subway systems were severely damaged. Hospitals became unusable. Schools closed. Airlines cancelled over 13,000 flights. Amtrak stopped all East Coast services. The governor of Connecticut shut down all state highways. Whole states got bombarded with several feet of snow.
In one way or another, 50 million people felt the fury of Sandy. Yet as ugly as the storm was, the human aftermath was even uglier. It was this “fourth stormfront” that added a particularly unnerving atmosphere to this “storm of the century.”
The Whirlwind After the Storm
After “natural” catastrophes, why do Americans turn on themselves? In Japan, after the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, there was hardly a mention of looting. We heard more of survival and a nation coming together to rebuild.
America has those stories too. But they pale in comparison to the egregious breakdown in law and order.
The water was barely starting to recede when looting started. With no lights, cameras or alarms, people just couldn’t wait to get out and get stuff.
Already-devastated communities became playgrounds for rampaging mobs, stealing whatever they could lay their hands on. Stores along both sides of a two-mile stretch of Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island were completely emptied. Liquor shops, convenience stores, equipment rentals, electronics emporiums, clothing outlets and grocery markets were pillaged.
But people weren’t just turning on corporate America. Looters went up and down streets breaking into homes—sometimes ones that were still occupied. They stole generators being used to keep people warm. They siphoned gasoline. They stole emergency lights. They stole water-soaked possessions right off front lawns.
They dressed as utility and rescue workers, pretending to help victims—then beating and robbing them.
Citizens attacked actual utility workers who worked to restore electricity. Police had to spend precious manpower protecting electricity workers from people angry that their electricity wasn’t restored faster.
Who Is Responsible for You?
Then there was the blaming and complaining.
Those stranded in areas without electricity, water and gas sounded off in front of reporters. They complained that the Red Cross had abandoned them, that fema took too long to bring help, that the state was too slow to provide food, water and generators for everyone.
One visibly emotional man told reporters that the conditions of the temporary bathrooms the government had set up were disgusting. Another man complained that the temporary housing provided by the government was too crowded. There were no showers, the bunk beds were too small, and the rooms felt like cattle cars, he said. A woman said the wait to get rationed gasoline was terrible. Another complained the government didn’t provide enough charging stations for cell phones.
Don’t look for gratitude among this rabble—you won’t find much.
It seemed like half the complaining was about things the government did supply! There was plenty of real suffering in the wake of Sandy. But how much of it could have been avoided had complainers taken even a modicum of personal responsibility for their lives—and not simply expected the government to take care of them?
People had more than a week to prepare for Hurricane Sandy. And many of the loudest critics were in areas that had mandatory evacuation orders a full day before the storm hit. They chose to live on a beach, and one of the biggest storms in history was headed straight toward them. What did they think would happen?
In July, a study conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation found that 55 percent of Americans believe that if a disaster strikes, the government will come to their rescue. Forty-four percent of adults don’t own a first-aid kit. Almost 50 percent have no emergency supplies set aside in case of a catastrophe. More than half of people surveyed said they did not have even a three-day supply of food and water in their homes.
No wonder post-Sandy New York and New Jersey were such a mess. And Sandy was only a Category 1 storm.
New York, especially, should have been prepared. Hurricane Irene struck only two years ago. But back then, the Feds picked up most of the bill too—75 percent of the reconstruction costs. Perhaps people became complacent, assuming that since the government would take care of things, they didn’t need to take any preparatory measures themselves.
At one time, America was well known for its culture of hard work, self-sufficiency, and taking personal responsibility. Disasters such as these show just how far from that ideal the nation has fallen.
And that is going to be a big problem.
Take a look at the number of billion-dollar disasters we’ve been facing. In 2000, there were two. In 2005, there were five. In 2011 there were 14. In 2012, there were 11 as of November, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The trend is definitely heading up—and fast. New Orleans, New York and New Jersey are only the beginning.
But as superstorm Sandy proved, Americans are not prepared.
After looking at Sandy—and remembering Katrina—one wonders how quickly America would revert into something out of the Congo or Rwanda if there weren’t police and National Guard on the streets.
What will happen if one day there are no police? What if our society really does break down like the self-sufficiency survivalist types and rogue economic analysts say it will?
There’s something you need to know: That is exactly what is about to happen. The Trumpet can tell you that dogmatically, not because we can predict weather patterns or economic forces or even societal trends, but because we know that the Bible, which has accurately predicted past events, will accurately predict future ones.
In the Bible, God says that He is the one who blessed our nation (which descended from ancient Israel) with wealth and prominence. But we have obviously turned away from Him. Because of our sins, God is removing the blessings He gave us and is punishing us for hating Him. Your Bible is full of specific prophecies that relate to this. Many of them are specifically about environmental disasters.
Those disasters are about to get worse. A lot worse. And judging by Katrina and Sandy, so will the man-made human nature disasters that come in their wake.
Is There a Solution?
America has a lot of questions that need answers. How do you fix people so devoid of common decency? How do you change people who are out to take all they can? How do you convince people that they—not the government—are responsible for providing for themselves, their families and their community? How do you teach gratitude? How do you fix a society that should be working together to rebuild from a horrible disaster, but instead attacks itself? How do you convince people to live a way of life based on give, not get?
It’s not better meteorology or more organized disaster relief or more government aid that we need. What we need is for each of us to change. It has to start with you and me. We have to want to change.
Do you think that right now Americans are ready to repent?
Sadly, that is the furthest thing from most of our minds. It takes suffering a superstorm for the concept of God to even enter our minds. For us to acknowledge that God exists, that the Bible is His Word, that He gave us our blessings, that we have sinned against Him and that we must repent—that’s going to take, unfortunately, a lotmore suffering.
Yet there’s hope in that. This is exactly what God is doing as He allows disasters like Hurricane Sandy to strike. He is speaking to carnal, godless people in the only language they understand: force. Until people make real, permanent changes in their lives, they are going to have to live through more hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes and floods and droughts. They will necessarily have to endure destruction that intensifies beyond their breaking points.
That might sound depressing, but if you understand your Bible—and you know God—you know there is inspiring hope in the midst of that tragedy. It is more tragic for people to live and die rejecting and hating God than it is to suffer these disasters and then turn to Him!
God doesn’t want to see us suffer. He doesn’t want us preying on each other during adversity. He wants us to live happy lives of purpose, prosperity, fulfillment and happy families, happy communities and happy nations. This bright future is what America has to look forward to. It’ll take superstorms like you’ve never seen before. But once He finally breaks our pride, humbles us and brings us to His wonderful way of life, our nation will experience peace, prosperity—beautiful weather—like you wouldn’t believe even if it were told you. That’s in the Bible too.