Chapter 3: The Deadly Climate Change Deception
When climatic disasters occur, the usual political and media response is to blame the trend on “climate change.” The worse the disaster, the louder the calls for taking action against climate change by addressing the supposed man-made causes, such as carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels.
This view about “climate change” has taken hold of millions of minds around the world. It is often presented as if it were irrefutable scientific fact. The truth, though, is that it is an ideology, and it will negatively affect every single person who falls for it!
This is not a political view. We aim to give you God’s view. Our great Creator knows that climate change is not the cause of weather disasters!
Why God Gives Rain
Do you believe the Bible? It gives an undeniably clear explanation for what causes climatic disasters. We will study this in greater depth throughout the remainder of this booklet, but first let’s look at a few scriptural passages.
The book of Nahum is a book of prophecy for this end time. The prophet begins by drawing attention to the command God has over disastrous weather. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet” (Nahum 1:3). In today’s language, this is speaking of hurricanes and tornadoes. This says God sends storms—and these storms result in flooding and destruction. He controls where and how hard the storms strike.
“He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth” (verse 4). Anciently, Bashan, Carmel and Lebanon possessed some of the most fertile farmland in the world. But God dried the rivers with droughts, and the abundance of those regions just withered away.
The idea that carbon emissions cause storms is the antithesis of what God says!
Read the rest of the Prophet Nahum’s account. It is consistent with the message you find throughout the Bible. It says that, in a sense, humans are responsible for weather disasters. Not because of fossil fuels, but because of sin—breaking God’s commandments!
Job 38:28 reveals God as the father of rain. He is able to command storm clouds to serve His purposes. All these natural elements obey God’s commands!
Here is another clear statement of God’s power over the weather—and it explains why God uses it as He does: “He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn round and round by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. Whether for correction, or for his land, or for love, he causes it to happen” (Job 37:11-13; Revised Standard Version).
One reason God sends storms is for correction. Yes, sometimes God bathes the earth with gentle rain to show His loving concern and mercy—and other times God uses the weather to correct people! Do you believe in that God?
There are many scriptures that corroborate this truth. Could this be the reason for some of the disasters we are seeing?
To say that climate change is causing all these violent storms is to reject everything God says about this subject. Those who believe in that wouldn’t all say they are anti-God or irreligious. But what they are saying is in direct conflict with what God says. And whose view on this issue do you think will prevail?
King Solomon knew this truth: “When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants …” (2 Chronicles 6:26-27).
Blessings and Curses
The book of Daniel is for our day only—“the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4, 9). In it, the Prophet Daniel shows us where to look for the solution to weather disasters and other curses.
“Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him” (Daniel 9:11). “Israel” here refers primarily to America and Britain, not just the Jewish state in the Middle East. (Read The United States and Britain in Prophecy to understand the identity of biblical Israel.)
Israel is cursed for not obeying “the law of Moses”! That is talking about the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch, which Moses wrote. Daniel refers us to the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These spell out God’s law—but they also have a lot of prophecy. Genesis 48 and 49, for example, prophesy what will happen to America and Britain in our day. And Daniel specifically speaks of “the curse” that God says will come upon us if we disobey His law.
Daniel continues, “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice” (Daniel 9:13-14).
God loves us, and does all that He can to bless us. But what is He supposed to do when we are caught up in sin and are disobeying Him? It is clear that God punishes, just like any father who loves his children. That is the only way He can turn us around so we can be in His Family! It is all done in love.
A former U.S. president said that rejecting the popular view of man-made climate change is the same as rejecting the future. You have no future if you don’t believe it, he said.
That is the exact opposite of God’s view! God says that you had better accept His view of climate change, or you don’t have a future—forever!
Whom do you believe? God or men?
Look again at Leviticus 26, the blessings and curses chapter. Read the entire chapter, and apply each point to America today. It is extremely accurate—more relevant today than ever! Daniel states that it is mainly for this end time.
“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:3-4). This is how to avoid violent storms and climatic extremes. When we obey Him, God provides temperate weather. He doesn’t want to send storms, but there is a reason He does at times, and it is connected to how we live.
Read verses 5-8, and you see how the nation that obeys God enjoys abundance and peace, security from enemies. “And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (verse 12). What is better than being in the good graces of the Almighty God? What blessings come when we follow God’s law as revealed in the first five books of the Bible! This is an absolute promise from God!
Bad Weather Is a Curse
God’s blessings hinge on our obedience. But notice what God says if we don’t obey. From here on, this chapter gives the bad news: “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant” (Leviticus 26:14-15). In verse 16, He says we will experience “terror,” or terrorism, as He tries to get our attention and direct our minds back to Him. We are seeing all these curses today.
“… I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: … for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits” (verses 19-20). God curses the weather when we rebel! We will receive no rain. Our crops won’t grow. The damage and the death toll will mount.
“And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins” (verses 21). God will continue to ratchet up the weather disasters until we finally begin to listen to Him!
The God of the Bible is omnipotent. He wields the punitive sword of flood and mildew—and also that of drought (Deuteronomy 28:22; 11:17). Sometimes He uses both at the same time in order to heighten their corrective power: “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). Notice—this is God speaking through His Prophet Amos. He controls rainfall, causing floods and droughts! God causes these weather disasters! In one region God sends a drought—in another region, floods—and it all happens right before harvest time.
In August 2017, hurricanes Harvey and Irma flooded Houston with over 50 inches of rain, and torrents of water filled cities across America’s Southeast. At the same time, the West Coast was parched, and fires were scorching millions of acres! It was exactly as God prophesied through Amos!
This prophecy does more than tell us that such disasters will occur. It tells us why they are occurring—and how to prevent them from continuing!
When such calamities strike, God expects us to seek Him. This means prayer, but also much more. Read verses 8-11. These verses foretell of intensifying curses, and state four times: “… yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.” God keeps repeating this crucial point!
God causes these conditions as punishment for pushing Him out of our lives. He is trying to get people to return to Him! This prophecy should help us see the connection between extreme weather upsets and human sin. Certainly we must pray—but we must also return to God! Returning to God requires real, tangible action.
In verse 9, God says, “I have smitten you with blasting and mildew ….” The International Critical Commentary (icc) says this “blasting” refers to a scorching “east wind.” Most commentaries say this is a hot blast of drought that wipes out crops, but the fact that the word is paired with “mildew” (also in Deuteronomy 28:22) might give this verse a broader application. The icc says this mildew is “caused by dampness and heat, having a yellow appearance.” This certainly could describe the aftermath of the summer hurricanes that lash America’s coastlines.
Realize: The book of Amos is another message directed at Israel in this end time (Amos 8:2).
God wants this world to know that He controls nature. Many “natural” disasters are anything but natural! Soon, arrogant men will learn this lesson very deeply.
God controls the weather. And in these many biblical passages, He reveals that there is a direct connection between the weather we experience and how we are living.
Most people simply do not believe these scriptures. Many believe in a “God of love” who would never do anything as horrible as these prophecies suggest.
Those who believe such a thing, however, fail to recognize an extremely important aspect of this issue.
Yes, God is all-powerful. Yes, He could prevent disasters if He chose to. Yes, at times God actually causes disasters! And yes, the occurrence of natural disasters does reflect a side of God’s character that many people don’t want to face.
But no, no, no a thousand times to the notion that God is a cruel, merciless Being who enjoys watching the suffering of human beings!
We must humble ourselves enough to appreciate the full, awesome biblical revelation on this crucial point!
An Expression of Love
Almighty God tells us that the real cause of our upset natural conditions is sin—which is the breaking of His laws (see 1 John 3:4). God uses weather to correct and discipline His creation—to help us realize the error of our ways!
Almighty God created mankind, and thus knows human nature. He also well knows the powerful, malevolent forces at work that seek to deny man the fulfillment of his incredible human potential!
As our heavenly Father, God knows how to deal with His children!
He inspired one of the basic laws of effective child rearing to be embedded in Scripture: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15). That same principle applies to the way our Creator deals with His offspring (Genesis 1:27) when we go astray. Surely we can comprehend that God, the one who formed man of the dust of the ground, knows best how to get man’s attention! That is God’s desire for mankind in this end time.
God declares that we are like sheep that have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6). Out of His overwhelming love for us, the Eternal God reproves those who break His law. Much of that punishment comes in the form of so-called natural catastrophes. God will continue to bring such penalties on His people to draw their attention to the reality that they are out of step with His will. And He will do this until repentance occurs and they turn to Him for help.
According to the Bible, nature provides a means of measuring whether or not God is pleased with us!
Why calamities? To gain people’s attention—that they might question whether their own selfish way of life may be the reason for such catastrophes befalling them, and that they might be motivated to take the action that will actually save their life and the life of their loved ones from further calamity!
Are natural disasters God’s will? Well, that depends on how you look at it. It isn’t His will that people have to suffer like that—but if they reject His message or turn away from Him, then that’s another matter. Then He wants to correct them so He can bring them into His Family for all eternity.
God hates to see suffering! What parent actually enjoys administering punishment to a child, necessary though it is at times? In all this, the great mercy of an all-wise and all-loving God is summed up in His plea to His people: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11; see also Ezekiel 18:32).
God takes no pleasure in seeing people die! He wants us to turn to Him in obedience with our whole heart so we don’t have to suffer and die.
These intensifying disasters are not God’s fault. They are our fault. National tragedies are upon us, and will increase a hundredfold because of our disobedience to God’s law and our rebellion against His authority.
The plain truth of the Bible is that God is deeply concerned about helping human beings overcome sin, and the ways that lead to unhappiness, misery, strife and suffering. This world has chosen to reject His authority. And now God—like any parent who loves a child that is rebelling—is correcting us in order to bring us back to Him!
The Bible is clear that God’s judgment and God’s correction are expressions of God’s love!
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6). Jesus Christ Himself says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19).
How well do you know this God?
While in the flesh, Jesus flipped over tables to drive out mercenaries who were polluting His Father’s house. He gave stern tongue-lashings to unrepentant people. He rebuked and chastened. He demanded repentance—not because He hated people, but because He loved them.
To the Pharisees—whom He unceremoniously called hypocrites, serpents and vipers—He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38). Their severe punishment was necessitated by their rebellion against God’s messengers, their rejection of God’s love.
If we understand the beautiful purpose of God’s law, then the application of rebuke and chastening for disobedience makes perfect sense. God always aims to redirect our errant steps in order to guide us back onto the path of lawkeeping that results in blessings. Yes, God gets angry—but He remains controlled and never punishes beyond what is deserved. God’s anger is not contrary to His love, but a product of it.
Notice how Christ concluded His correction in that passage with hope: “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, TILL ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (verse 39). Yes, once those murderers—brought back to life in a resurrection—humble themselves and accept God’s messengers, then even they will see Christ again!
The God of Judgment
It seems that whenever a major disaster hits, there are those eager to roundly condemn anyone who would deign to suggest that the disaster was part of God’s warning that judgment is coming. Bringing a “God of judgment” into the picture is widely viewed as self-righteous, sanctimonious, even blasphemous.
But do those who would so quickly dismiss such a suggestion know the God of the Bible? The God who blesses for obedience and punishes for disobedience?
Obviously, to families mourning the loss of loved ones, to communities that have been demolished, it does little good to offer platitudes and bromides. Understandably in such bleak circumstances, the cliché that “God loves you” is difficult to swallow.
But can we recognize the love in God’s correction?
It is true that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). But just what is God’s love? It is God’s giving way of life, manifested, for example, in God giving His only begotten Son to the world (John 3:16). That love is defined by and expressed in God’s commandments: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments …” (1 John 5:3).
Doesn’t God love us? is perhaps a common question after a disaster. But shouldn’t we ask the more piercing question: Is it possible that we don’t love God? Might that be the problem?
Something is deeply flawed with the notion that no matter how much evil is perpetrated, no matter what we do, God is obligated to shower only blessings upon us. Ponder these profound words of the Prophet Malachi: “Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” (Malachi 2:17).
Do we know this God? Do we really have the proper fear of God? Are we willing to accept this plain truth from the Bible?
Remember, Scripture plainly speaks of a natural disaster of unparalleled proportions—exponentially more destructive than any we have seen recently—that demolished entire villages and cities filled with people—all over the Earth! Read it yourself in Genesis 7. The Flood came by the hand of God and wiped out every inhabitant of the Earth, save only eight people—Noah and his family.
What a killer storm! And it wasn’t caused by climate change. It was God punishing people for their sins!
There was no physical evidence to predict that storm, but Noah had received word from God that it was coming, and he warned the world. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet [nobody saw that storm coming], moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7). For 100 years, Noah warned of the Flood that would come as punishment for the rampant sins of the entire world. Nobody believed him, and they paid a terrible price.
Is the Bible your authority?
When He has to, God does bring evil upon people. In the book of Daniel, the prophet said, “[A]ll this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice” (Daniel 9:13-14). God allows evil, and sometimes He brings it upon us. But why? “That we might turn” from our lawlessness!
Repeatedly Scripture describes God’s judgment on the nations and on His own people. Read about the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. Read God’s judgment against Egypt in Exodus 12:29-30 and against Israel in Amos 4:10.
Should we be so shocked when we see such calamities today? To say that God would never cause such suffering—that it could not be His will—is to admit frankly that we don’t know God.
Why Do Some Die and Not Others?
However, this raises an important question.
Considering that natural disasters are correction from God, why then do they seem so random, so arbitrary, in their violence and savagery? An entire family is wiped out in a tsunami—except for a now-orphaned little girl. A tornado completely levels a town—except for a lone home left standing on its outskirts.
Do those who suffer from or die in such disasters deserve their fate more than those who survive? At times, such events seem practically to beg the question.
Did you realize that this crucial question was actually posed to Jesus Christ Himself?
His answer dispels a misconception that can easily surface when we contemplate these vital issues.
Some people from Galilee had been killed by Pilate in an especially gruesome manner. A few of Jesus’s followers told Him about the incident, clearly troubled by the issue of whether or not, by reason of their sin, they had deserved their fate. Were they evil? Was God exacting vengeance on them?
Here is what Christ told them: “Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-3).
Christ followed up with an example that expanded the discussion. Eighteen people had been crushed by the collapse of a tower—an accidental and tragic death. They too bore no particular guilt above anyone else around them who was spared. But again Jesus followed up with the statement: “[T]hink ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (verses 4-5).
Jesus Christ knew that these men weren’t killed for their unrighteousness. Ecclesiastes 9:11 tells us that time and chance happen to all in this world.
This is a deeply important truth to recognize. No one can impute wickedness on the people who die in an accident or natural disaster. Their deaths offer no proof of their being any more sinful than those who survive—or anyone else in the world. Romans 3:23 explains that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
But still: Could those 18 in Siloam have been protected from the tower?
Jesus’s answer was yes. And He said the key to such protection is repentance!
Christ was saying that the disasters that befall others should serve as a warning to us—that we will be subject to the same fate unless we repent of our sins! God protects those who repent and turn to Him in obedience.
God Seeks Repentance
Think seriously about Christ’s strong warning to the Jews in the above passage. God was telling them that they must repent—or the whole Jewish nation would die in the same violent way! That is precisely what happened to the Jewish nation in a.d. 70! Only God’s loyal remnant escaped to Pella. They were the only ones who heeded Christ’s warning!
Here is what makes this so relevant to us today. What happened to the Jewish nation is a type of what is to happen to Israel in this end time—mainly the American and British peoples. This critical truth is explained in vivid detail in The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
Jewish historian Josephus recorded that many catastrophes were rapidly intensifying in the period before the Jewish nation was destroyed in a.d. 70. Today, we see the same scenario in end-time Israel. Horrifying events are becoming common for us today. It is all leading to the total destruction of our nations! These disasters are the strongest kind of warning from God.
Yet tragically, the nations of Israel and the rest of the world are proving themselves wholly unwilling to turn to God in repentance!
Biblical prophecy shows that this world is going to become a victim of the very worst of the disasters it describes! (You can read about this in Gerald Flurry’s free booklet Lamentations: The Point of No Return.)
However—just as in Noah’s day, in a time of universal sin that would culminate in universal destruction—God does offer protection for those individuals, few though they may be, who turn to Him in repentance and obedience!
This is an ironclad promise from your Bible!
Many scriptures show that God rewards and protects those who put Him first. If everyone in America would look to God, the plagues would stop! Here is just one example: “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psalm 91:9-11). God does try and test His people, but overall, He protects and blesses and rewards those who make God their habitation. He instructs His angels to watch over them.
This is the major lesson that God wants to teach us in these weather disasters. That is why it is such a dangerous deception to remove God from the equation and blame all these problems on carbon emissions causing climate change.
We need to be concerned about our moral conduct. We need to go back to the law of Moses. We must accept the correction of our loving Father, and return to Him in humble repentance and obedience. That is the way to reverse this deadly trend and end the disasters.
Hebrews 11 expounds on the faith we need in order to please God. Notice: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (verse 6).
That is a powerful statement. God expects you to test and prove Him on that to make sure His words are true.
Do you have faith in what God says in the Bible? We need faith in order to escape the storms. God says we can have the very same faith that Jesus Christ had on Earth (e.g. Galatians 2:20). As we have that faith, and diligently seek God and do as He commands, He will reward us—physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally—in a multitude of ways! That is the truth of your Bible—Old Testament and New Testament.
Are the people who proclaim the dangers of climate change diligently seeking God? From everything I have seen, it is usually the reverse: They leave God entirely out of the picture. But God will not be left out.
What the authorities of this world are saying about climate change destroys faith! It deprives people of those great rewards of God. It destroys our hope!
God rewards those who diligently seek Him. He will give us all the blessings we can imagine—including protection from all these storms—if we will just do that!
A Misquoted Bible Verse
There are some people who, in the face of natural disasters, don’t necessarily blame climate change, but who still don’t acknowledge the power of the spiritual dimension involved.
In recent years, there is one particular Bible verse that many leaders have quoted in an apparent effort to point to a spiritual solution to this problem. Recently, America’s vice president quoted it in multiple interviews, campaign speeches and other occasions. Other leaders cited it after hurricanes devastated parts of America in 2017.
The verse is 2 Chronicles 7:14. It is the verse the vice president placed his hand on when he swore his oath of office: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Here we see a focus on prayer as a solution to America’s problems. But there is a serious problem with how the vice president and many other leaders, including religious leaders, often quote this scripture.
On many occasions, people intentionally leave out “turn from their wicked ways” and “forgive their sin”!
Without these words, the verse sounds nice to religious Americans, but it leaves out the most important part!
This verse shows that prayer alone is not enough. If we want God to “hear from heaven” when we pray, then there is more to the equation! It also requires that we humble ourselves, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways.
Many leaders clearly do not want to tell Americans that they could be guilty of sin and wickedness—and that they must repent! Even many Americans who consider themselves Christian would reject such a message.
Jesus Christ commands us to live by every word of God (Matthew 4:4)—not by our own versions of God’s words!
This deliberate misquotation of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is doubly destructive and tragic because the words they are leaving out are the words America needs most! Americans desperately need to hear these corrective words because repenting and turning to God is the only way people in this cursed, dying nation can be saved!
The God Who Blesses
Many people will pray to God. But how many will obey Him and allow Him to rule them? Very few.
When referring to God, the Prophet Amos used the word “Adonai” 25 times—more than the other 11 minor prophets combined. This word means “Headship,” “the Head,” or “the God who blesses,” according to the Companion Bible. Amos discussed a lot of negative prophecies, but he kept reminding himself of the great God behind the punishments—the God who sometimes sends trials and tests to humble us and to move us to get to know Him. When you understand their purpose, even God’s difficult prophecies are inspiring and uplifting! God is a God of love. He only sends chastening to inspire us to return to Him.
“Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel. … For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live“ (Amos 5:1, 4; see also verse 6). God delivers bad news, but if we respond the right way, we will live forever!
“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name” (verse 8). This is exactly what we saw in hurricanes Harvey and Irma: God brought trillions of gallons of water out of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean and poured them on American cities! He would much rather use water to grow our crops and give us prosperity, but we must listen to Him. He has to get our attention if He is going to give us eternal life and rule over the entire universe.
“For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins …” (verse 12). This is why God punishes us with hurricanes! We can pray and not even get close to God if we are not obeying Him. When we are involved in transgressions and sins, then God will not listen to or answer our prayers (Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 1:10-15; 59:1-2). We must repent and return to God to reap tremendous blessings.
“Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken” (Amos 5:14). Clearly, God wants you to live! He wants every human to live an abundant life (John 10:10).
An Unbreakable Promise
Study the context of the verse that America’s vice president and others have misquoted. God gave that promise as He accepted the temple that King Solomon had dedicated to Him. God said, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).
These leaders not only leave out parts of verse 14, they totally omit verse 13, which says that God will actually cause destruction to come on the land! They also leave out verses 19-22, where God says that if Israel turns away from God, He will bring “all this evil upon them” and even “pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them,” sending them into exile.
Many people apply this passage (at least the positive parts) to the United States. Many others—including many American Christians—disagree: They say this passage applied only to Israel, a long-gone ancient kingdom. But that is not true. God preserved this passage for 3,000 years because these verses—every word of these verses—continue to apply to the modern descendants of ancient Israel!
The book of Chronicles is not just a leftover record of what God told an ancient king. It is primarily for our time! And it is primarily for three end-time nations of Israel: America, Britain and the Jewish state. America and Britain received the birthright promises of unmatched national abundance. The Jewish state called Israel received the scepter promise of a royal dynasty that God promised would endure until the return of Jesus Christ. (This is all explained in The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) The promise in Chronicles—and the warning—is for our day!
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the wonderful, loving God tells us exactly how to avoid national suffering, division and destruction. He makes an unbreakable promise: If we turn from our sins, He will heal us! This applied in the ancient past, it applies to the dangerous present, and it applies to the glorious future! God does promise to heal our land. But the people must heed His warning. The minds of the people must be healed!
Sidebar: What God Reveals About Death
To understand how correction through calamity can actually be an expression of love, one must have God’s perspective on human life. Human death means nothing to God except a temporary sleep (1 Corinthians 15:51-55), because He is able to resurrect humans from the grave!
One of the greatest, most hope-filled truths in Scripture is that of the resurrection of the dead. Hebrews 6:1-2 list the resurrection as one of the foundational doctrines of your Bible. Scripture actually reveals three separate resurrections, each serving a unique purpose. (This truth is explained in our free reprint article “The Three Resurrections.”) In God’s immense wisdom and mercy, every individual who has ever lived will be given one genuine chance to choose eternal life or eternal death. The vast majority in this Satan-gripped world have not yet been given that choice and are not yet judged (Hebrews 9:27).
Those who die in disasters on this Earth will be raised again! God has promised it! That is a message of hope. Those who grieve for their loved ones need to understand this. Those now dead will be resurrected in a future utopian world, ruled by God—one far kinder than the world fraught with nightmares that we now inhabit. At that time they will receive, for the first time, the opportunity to understand God’s precious truth and apply it in their lives.
God’s perspective is very different from ours. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). It is not cruelty that leads Him to correct—even to allow some to die. It is rather His lightning-bolt message to those still living—the Creator’s call to repentance.
Sidebar: God Has Responded to Past National Days of Prayer
In the fall of 2017, After Hurricane Harvey decimated Houston and the Texas Gulf coast, United States President Donald Trump declared a day of national prayer. He called on Americans “of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers … for all those harmed by Hurricane Harvey, including people who have lost family members or been injured, those who have lost homes or other property, and our first responders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, and medical professionals leading the response and recovery efforts.”
“God is our refuge and strength,” President Trump quoted from Psalm 46:1, “a very present help in trouble.”
When faced with hardship, Americans have a history of coming together and crying out to God. As early as the 1600s, American communities traditionally kept their own special fast day each spring, just as they kept a day of thanksgiving each fall (Religion and the Continental Congress, 1774–1789). National days of prayer in America go back to June 12, 1775, at the start of the American Revolutionary War, when the Continental Congress declared: “Congress … considering the present critical, alarming and calamitous state … do earnestly recommend, that Thursday, the 12th of July next, be observed by the inhabitants of all the English colonies on this continent, as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, that we may with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins and offer up our joint supplications to the all-wise, omnipotent and merciful disposer of all events, humbly beseeching Him to forgive our iniquities.”
The fledgling 13 colonies went on to win a miraculous victory in the war for independence against the greatest empire in the world. America was born as a republic of miracles.
President George Washington understood that. In his Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789, he stated, “[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge.”
America’s second president, John Adams, proclaimed a national day of humiliation, thanksgiving, fasting and prayer in 1798 and 1799. Almost every other president since has issued a proclamation of thanksgiving and/or prayer (Religion and the Continental Congress).
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared April 30, 1863, as a day of national prayer. On this and other occasions, he openly recognized that God was cursing America for its many sins, including slavery. He called on Americans to repent: “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
A few months later, the Union won the Battle of Gettysburg, turning the tide of the war.
During World War i, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed May 30, 1918, to be a day of prayer. The German empire had almost broken through the Allied lines. Russia had just quit the war, and German reinforcements were pouring into Western Europe. Paris was in danger of falling. The president wrote: “I, Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, the 30th day of May, a day already freighted with sacred and stimulating memories, a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting, and do exhort my fellow citizens of all faiths and creeds to assemble on that day in their several places of worship and there, as well as in their homes, to pray Almighty God that He may forgive our sins and shortcomings as a people and purify our hearts to see and love the truth, to accept and defend all things that are just and right, and to purpose only those righteous acts and judgments which are in conformity with His will.”
The very next day after the day of prayer, the United States Marine Corps began its first major engagement of the war at Belleau Wood. There something miraculous occurred: The Americans won a stunning victory over the Germans, keeping the Allies from losing the war.
Similar miracles happened for Britain during World War ii. A day of prayer was called on May 26, 1940, for Britain as the trapped British Expeditionary Force faced annihilation by the Nazi war machine on the beaches of Dunkirk. King George vi broadcast on national radio, calling on the British people not only to plead for divine help, but also to turn back to God in a spirit of repentance. Between May 26 and June 4, a storm grounded the German Air Force, the German Army inexplicably halted, the English Channel calmed, and 340,000 Allied troops were saved.
A joint resolution of Congress in 1952 signed by President Harry Truman permanently established an annual National Day of Prayer. Since 1988, it has been held on the first Thursday in May.
But in the hurricane season of 2017, President Trump had reason to call a special day of prayer on September 3. When that day (a Sunday) came, there was a religious showing across America. The president and his wife attended a church service, as did Texas governor Greg Abbott. Churches all over America held services for the victims, and thousands of Americans came together to pray.
But instead of a miracle, America got another disaster.
On September 6, Hurricane Irma plowed through the Caribbean, desolating Barbuda and other Caribbean islands and striking Florida. Then Hurricane Maria smashed Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Harvey, Irma and Maria cost more than 100 American lives and between $100 and $300 billion in damage, in addition to the lives lost and destruction wrought on other Caribbean islands.
God did not answer those prayers to bless America. He caused or allowed more hurricanes.
If you compare President Trump’s proclamation to previous national proclamations of prayer, there is one stark difference. It boils down to one word: repentance.
In each of the cases where God dramatically responded to days of prayer and miraculously intervened, American leaders had not only called on their citizens to pray and beseech God to intervene, but to fast and to repent of sin.
President Trump’s predecessors would have said the record-setting destruction was the consequence of national sin; President Trump mentioned only “the consequences of this terrible storm.”