A question that keeps
popping up in our email is along the lines of [assuming it is God’s
doing]: "Why do places like Iowa and that heartland region get all the
flooding, have the problems, since the nation seems more sinful in other
states and regions than Iowa and surrounding areas?”
The queries come from
people inside and outside of media. The evidence is building that these
record-breaking, weather-related events harbor portentous meaning beyond
being merely cyclical or random occurrences. The fact isn’t lost on many
who have begun to pay attention. Although offered sometimes as
tongue-in-cheek questions, the questions belie visceral and widespread
concern among Christians and non-Christians alike.
So, what is the answer?
Why, if these weather-caused calamities–the floods, tornadoes, etc.--are
of God, do they not strike the places like Massachusetts, where gay
marriage has been officially sanctioned by government as equal to
heterosexual marriage? Why not Las Vegas, where there is debauched
activity of every sort? Why not California, where gay marriage has just
been legitimized–where the homosexual populations come together in
greatest numbers? Why are the “good” people of the heartland chosen out
for punitive actions by the Lord? Why aren’t these things visited upon
the more–in the view of many—nefarious
regions of the nation?
If I may make our
nation, the most materially and spiritually blessed (in the sense of
ties to Christianity) somewhat analogous to the human body, we are sick.
Sin-sick, and getting progressively sicker.
/ Stomach Problems
We have heart trouble.
The geophysical problems in the heartland of America certainly seem to
confirm the diagnosis concerning the proposed disease. Like in the human
body when sick, society/culture exhibits symptoms of the worsening
illness. Presently, the malady is manifesting the illness in the
American stomach–which we often term the nation’s “bread basket”. Just
as the body emits signals of systemic troubles, a collective people
suffers pains of things going wrong. Again, America’s trouble is one of
its heart. The symptoms are those of swollen rivers, of dead and dying
crops under the flood waters that cover the fields of the bread basket
that feeds not only the American people, but millions of people in
nations around the world.
You might say that it
is quite a stretch to compare the geophysical to the
physiological–comparing weather disturbances assaulting cornfields and
wheatfields to a disease attacking a human body. Perhaps so, but it
certainly seems to some of us who observe God’s methodologies of dealing
with sin down through the corridors of time that making the comparison
is a valid exercise in addressing the question: Why do the “good people”
of heartland America suffer these things–if they are God’s
judgments—while the sinful people of the hedonistic regions seem to be
free of the geophysical assaults?
King David, who almost
certainly wrote many of the Psalms, seems to have made similar laments,
saying, for example: “I have seen the wicked in great power, and
spreading himself like a green bay tree” (Psalm 37:35).
That the anti-God
bastions of this world seem almost insulated against ramifications of
their evil works is the lamentation even today. Why do those
hard-working, salt-of-the-earth folks of the Midwest suffer such loss
while the evil goes unpunished?
The problem is one of
lack of understanding the Creator in His most basic methodology in
dealing with man. The question projects the lack of apprehension. The
question presupposes that God looks at the troubles in our national
heartland in the same way the one doing the questioning views what is
The Great Physician
knows, intimately, the nature of sin. He knows how deeply sin affects
the nation. He knows how to deal with the infection. The questioners,
whether derisive and mocking skeptics or believers who seek answers
about why the “good people” suffer while the wicked apparently prosper,
fail to understand and or acknowledge that the flooding and the winds
are allowed by the Creator not as punishment, but as symptomatic
Iowans and Californians
are in the same proverbial boat. One state is not “good” and the other
“evil”. The American national body –indeed the world of humanity—is
suffering a terminal infection. The wages of that sin is death. This has
always been the plight of civilizations since the time of the fall in
Heart trouble…the human
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, God’s Word
tells us. Scriptures tell us further: “For there is not a just man upon
earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
The Lord of Heaven
deals individually with His children–those who are born again into His
family through Jesus Christ (John 3:3). But, in the context of His
dealings with mankind, all, both saved and lost, live under His
corrective regime until the time His cup of divine wrath will be
full: ”…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and
sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45b).
All suffer sin’s
debilitating effects while in this life of fallen flesh. I chose a poem
attributed to Judge Roy Moore, the Alabama judge removed from his court
for his stance for God’s prescription for righteousness–The Ten
Commandments, a prescription fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The poem portrays
vividly, I think, the truth of our sin problem in this much-blessed
nation. America the beautiful, or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims'
I'm glad they'll never
Babies piled in
Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of
your house is on the
Our children wander
poisoned by cocaine
choosing to indulge
when God has said
From sea to shining
our Nation turns away
From the teaching of
and a need to always
We've kept God in our
temples, how callous we
When earth is but His
and Heaven is His
We've voted in a
that's rotting at the
who throw reason out
Too soft to place a
in a well deserved
But brave enough to
kill a baby
before he leaves the
You think that God's
angry, that our land's
a moral slum?
How much longer will He
before His judgment
How are we to face our
from Whom we cannot
What then is left for
us to do,
but stem this evil
If we who are His
will humbly turn and
Seek His holy face
and mend our evil way:
Then God will hear from
and forgive us of our
He'll heal our sickly
and those who live
But, America the
If you don't - then you
A sad but Holy God
withdraw His hand from
~~Judge Roy Moore~~
The wickedness of the
human heart is the heart trouble within America today that also afflicts
all of humanity. Soon God’s corrective forewarnings will become His
wrath unleashed. For those who ask why the wicked seemingly get away
with their wickedness, the preacher of God’s great wisdom says the
against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of
the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil
an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it
shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it
shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days,
which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God” (Ecc.
Shakespeare put words
that ring true in our time on Roman General Mark Anthony’s tongue, in
Anthony’s literary eulogy upon
Julius Caesar’s assassination: “The evil men do live after them,
the good is oft’ interred with their bones…”
Certainly, man’s record
of evil lives on, and worsens with each passing day. The good is more
often buried within the deepest reaches of news of the hour.
Paul the apostle
put in prophetic terms the ubiquitous and proliferating nature of
the evil activities that would mark the end of the age: “But evil men
and seducers shall [become] worse and worse, deceiving, and being
deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).
America’s heart trouble
exhibits the growing evil with each and every news cycle. The heinous
nature of man becoming worse and worse is pumped into our senses through
hourly reports presented by electronic and print news outlets. Bad news
is overwhelmingly the order of the day.
The future for America,
because of the heart trouble with
which it is afflicted, is bleak. It is the same deadly malady as that
suffered by the entire world. All suffer equally from the anti-God
disease the Bible terms “sin”. It is the refusal of man to recognize
that he suffers from sin –believing instead that he can find remedies
through social action or government proscription that makes it not
possible for humankind to be cured. God’s Word says the
following: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end
thereof [are] the ways of death” (Prov. 16:25).
terminally ill from this human spiritual condition believe they sit
immune from the wages of their sin, the Lord’s Word says that the final
disposition of their judgment is
sometimes seemingly slow, but it is 100 percent sure.
The Psalmist records
the Lord’s omniscient truth on the matters involved in man’s heart
trouble, and the inevitable result.
“For I was envious of the
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
They are not in trouble as
Nor are they plagued like other men.
Therefore pride serves as
Violence covers them like a garment.
heir eyes bulge with
They have more than heart could wish.
They scoff and speak
wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak loftily.
They set their mouth
against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.
Therefore his people
And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
And they say, “How does
And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
When I thought how to understand
It was too painful for me—
Until I went into the
sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.
Surely You set them in
You cast them down to destruction.
Oh, how they are brought
to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors…
For indeed, those who are
far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
But it is good for me to
draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works” (Psalms 73: 3-12, 16-19, 27-28