A Cursed Year
Seizing global attention, 2005 featured record weather catastrophes: 26 tropical storms bested 1933’s mark of 21. Fourteen of those were hurricanes, two more than 1969’s record. Dry conditions also prevailed worldwide, leading to wildfires that burned a record 8.5 million acres in the United States alone.
Too little rain in one state meant too much in another, as dry states like California and Nevada dealt with unusually wet weather, causing costly flash floods. Authorities declared a state of emergency for several western Nevada counties as damages surpassed $10 million by early January.
Other English-speaking nations are suffering similar curses. In Australia, wildfires are racing along as the dry land suffers from blowtorch-like conditions. Fires have been raging out of control in New South Wales, Victoria and the capital, Canberra. In Victoria alone, firefighters struggled with a 19-mile front that consumed more than 22,000 acres.
In Canada, 2005 was soggy, wet and erratic. Heavy rain from coast to coast flooded one out of every 10 homes in Calgary, Alb., and forced a state of emergency further east in Manitoba. The weather in British Columbia, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada was also bizarre. B.C. saw little to no snow for its tourist-heavy winter. The weather played tricks in Ontario: On Nov. 9, 2005, Ottawa was smacked with freezing rain, while Windsor experienced a balmy 68 degrees, Barry saw snow, and Hamilton experienced a rare 10-minute tornado.
In Britain, significant water deficits in southern England resulted in the worst drought in 85 years. “The drought has gone on so long that the country needs weeks of steady rain to restock reservoirs” (Express, January 4). The Met Office predicts that the exceptionally dry conditions of 2005 will persist into the spring and summer of 2006. At the same time, Britain has had a spate of cold snaps, with one county recording its coldest day in 19 years over the holiday period.
All this weather irregularity, especially drought, has a significant impact on business. It also increases the risk of fire damage and crop failures.
Among the most sensitive industries to this volatile weather, and dead center in its rampaging path, is agriculture. The U.S.’s agriculture-related businesses—which account for about 12 percent of America’s gross domestic product and about 17 percent of American jobs—are shriveling, literally from the ground up.
Why would a loving God allow all this? Mainstream Christians are split over the question—especially since the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina snuffed out more than 280,000 lives. Regarding Hurricane Katrina, some said it was God’s punishment on a sinning mankind. Others called it foolhardy to interpret natural disasters as judgment from God or that the end may be near.
But what is God’s position? Can we know?
His word states: “And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered” (Amos 4:7).
The God of the Bible proclaims to control the weather. In other scriptures He says He dries up rivers, controls the seas and works in the whirlwinds. He also says that He will curse a nation that refuses to obey His laws by turning the heaven into iron and the earth into brass. Men will spend their strength in vain trying to gain an increase. See Leviticus 26 and Isaiah 29:6.
America, Britain, Australia and Canada are experiencing these curses because God wants them to repent of their disobedience. Salubrious weather is a natural blessing that comes with obedience to God’s laws. As long as His laws are trampled upon, God will continue to correct us so we will change our evil ways.
We are under a curse.
But the curses are a form of mercy. God wants to bless America and Britain. And He will continue to intensify the correction, using His creation, to bring people to obedience and blessings (Revelation 6:12-17; Ezekiel 33:11). After all, God is a loving Father.