Jun 25, 2018

Kilauea’s Greatest Danger 

A strange thing about humans and natural disasters is that we tend to fear the ones that are the least likely to happen. For decades the media have warned about the possibility of a large meteor striking the earth and creating a massive loss of life. If NASA suddenly discovered that a 5-mile-wide meteor was projected to come very near to the earth in 15 years, the talk would suddenly be about how the vastness of space and our faulty projection would likely mean that the meteor would miss earth.

I’ve written before about the danger from the Yellowstone caldera. Scientists have learned that this super volcano has exploded several times with massive force. An eruption today would kill tens of millions of people. There has been an endless series of earthquakes in the area.

Over the past few months, the Steamboat geyser has sprung to life and now seems to be erupting somewhat on a predictable schedule, at least for the moment. On Jun 15, it sent boiling water hundreds of feet into the air for the 10th time this year. Before this recent string of eruptions, Steamboat had been dormant since 2014. This is the most amount of eruptions since 1965.

Scientists continue to tell the public not to worry. Yellowstone has a 600,000-year eruption cycle, and oddly enough, the last one occurred 600,000 years ago. We really don’t know what to make of these warning signs. The going assumption is that we are safe from danger by the chance of an actual eruption being thousands of years down the road.

I’ve looked at several young-earth creationist sites on the timing of Yellowstone’s eruptions. They say its last one occurred possibly in 2,000 BC, but they are strangely silent on any future events. If our safety margin is actually 150 times smaller, they need to boldly speak up on this issue.

There is another danger to the world that has a much shorter cycle—a massive landslide in the Hawaiian Islands. About every 30,000 years, a large section of an Island will break off into the ocean.

The southern section of the Big Island of Hawaii has had a spectacular occurrence of lava flows. The USGS notes that an estimated 7 billion cubic feet of lava has poured out in a massive eruption which began on May 3. The lava is “enough to cover Manhattan 8 feet deep” and fill 15 million average dump trucks, it said. The fresh lava has added 11 square miles to the Island.

The buildup of this new material on the ocean’s edge will eventually result in a landslide. The average slope of the northern side of the Big Island is three degrees. The pitch at the southern end is six degrees. A return to stability would require a 100 cubic mile section to slide into the ocean.

The collapse of the south flank would cause an earthquake in excess of a 9 in magnitude, and generate a mega-tsunami. A previous mega-tsunami in Hawaii may have created waves 1,400 feet tall on the nearby islands. One evidence of the power of this type of event is the discovery of large sections of coral the size of houses that were ripped from the ocean floor and carried several miles inland. Geologists have discovered huge blocks of land up to 10 miles wide on the sea floor that fanned out over 150 miles from the coast.

A Hawaiian mega-tsunami would hit the western coast of the US with a wave at least 200 feet tall. It would take about 5 hours for it to reach the coast, but there is no way to move 20 million Californians from the danger zone. The cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco would be absolutely devastated by the giant wave.

The activity of the last couple of months has added to the danger. When a magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred on May 4th, the south flank moved about two feet toward the sea. The opening of over 20 vents was the result of a giant ripping of the eastern rift zone of Kilauea. The addition of billions of tons of weight to the south flank increases the chance of a major collapse.

Another indication that the danger may be all too real is the removal of information related to Kilauea and tsunamis. Wikipedia maintains a history of its article edits. I ran across a page that had gone from saying mega-tsunamis are a “natural” event to “Geologists are confident no such failure is likely” and “…supposed threats of mega-tsunamis are exaggerated.”

I don’t think there will be a mega-tsunami in the Pacific Ocean any time before the Kings of the East invasion. China would be shattered by such a wave, and I don’t see how it could launch a 200-million- man army invasion of the Middle East after being hit by a mega-tsunami.

When Jesus returns to earth and generates some type of pulse that will cause every mountain and island to move, the south flank will certainly collapse. In fact, dozens of sections of Hawaii will likely go crashing into the ocean. His return will be very glorious, but it will also be very terrifying to the lost.

“The sky receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place” (Revelation 6:14).


Commiserating with Lot

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is the story of a man–but it is much more. It is a story of mankind.

The man is Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who chose to take the greener pasture when his uncle gave him the choice. That greener pasture was, of course, the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was much more appealing in lushness and the entertainment and other attractions it apparently offered.

The story of Lot, of Sodom and Gomorrah, is also a dramatic picture of all of mankind in its fallen state. The story foreshadows how the human race always chooses the ways of the world that take people farther and farther from their Creator.

Lot, despite being among the lost, debauched thousands of Sodom, was nonetheless considered righteous in the eyes of that Creator -the God of Heaven. There is one thing more we know about this nephew of the great progenitor of the people that would become Israel. Lot was sorely vexed. The story of the sorely vexed Lot can be found in the 19th chapter of the Book of Moses–Genesis.

There, we remember, God sent two angels, first to Uncle Abraham, then to Lot in the debauched city of Sodom.

Here is what the Apostle Peter wrote in regard to our vexed protagonist, Lot. The context is God dealing with egregiously rebellious mankind in righteous judgment.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (2 Peter 2:1-10)

Now, Peter points out–under divine inspiration and without any doubt–that ol’ Lot was indeed vexed. The definition of vexed in one instance is the state of being extremely irritated or frustrated to the point of a sense of being oppressed.

I use the word sorely, because it has always been a KJV term that amuses me. Some in biblical stories, for example, have been described as “sore afraid.”

I have no doubt that Lot, living among these ravenously homosexual men who threatened the angels who came into Sodom, was not only vexed, but sorely vexed.

Now, I want to say here that while watching things going on all around us in today’s society and culture I am sorely vexed.  It seems that fully half of the American people are immersed in activity that can be construed as anti-God. Government, media–both news and entertainment–seem bent on tearing down most every moral pillar to which our national life used to be tethered. And, we who oppose that tearing down are called the irrational, ignorant morons that are holding up progress.

We who think boys, not girls, should be Boy Scouts, who believe males should not be allowed in restrooms that are designated for females, who hold that God knows best when saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman, are hated and vilified. Those doing the vilification and hating see themselves as the supreme moralists. And, their side has the public airwaves for the most part. They have Satan’s propaganda machinery that, without ceasing, preaches their Sodom and Gomorrah-like comportment as being the way life is meant to be lived.

This being the case, all of my vexation instantly turns to a shudder of realization when thinking on the future for those in such rebellion. The words issued by Peter above are yet–perhaps very soon–to once again come to fulfillment.

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.