|US braces for Hurricane Earl as direct talks get underway|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 02 September 2010 14:23|
A state of emergency has been declared North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland and tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes ahead of approaching Hurricane Earl, a category four hurricane that meteorologists believe could become the strongest storm to hit the US mainland in 20 years. Yesterday President Barack Obama said emergency services were preparing for a "worst-case scenario". The storm has already caused significant damage in the Bahamas, destroying buildings and downing electricity poles. 35,000 people have been evacuated from the Hatteras and Ocracok islands, and hurricane watches have been put in place as far north as Maine and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Quote: "If Earl reaches US landfall it is thought to be the most powerful storm since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane, killed 26 people directly and caused almost $30bn in damage. Hurricane Katrina was more deadly, killing at least 1,800 people and causing more than $80bn dollars in damage but was Category 3 when it struck Louisiana. Earl comes hot on the heels of Hurricane Danielle and is being followed by Tropical Storm Fiona and Gaston, the seventh tropical storm of the season which has formed in the Atlantic.
Some are already comparing this latest storm to Hurricane Katrina, which wreaked havoc across the southern United States in August 2005. Katrina began to form in the Atlantic on the same day that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza disengagement was officially completed. The similarities between the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in America and the result of the Gaza disengagement in Israel prompted many prominent Jews and Christians to think of it as Divine retribution for the division of God's land. As the Scriptures say, those that touch Israel touch the apple of God's eye (Zechariah 2:8). As around 10,000 Jews were being forcibly expelled from their homes in the Gaza Strip, many of whom had been living there from before Israel became a nation, over one million Americans were being forcefully evacuated from their homes as Hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans. And as the Palestinians were dismantling some of the country's most productive communities in the south of Israel following the disengagement, Hurricane Katrina was demolishing one of America's most productive southern cities. While Hurricane Katrina was not the strongest storm ever to hit the US mainland, it certainly was the most costly hurricane in American history, as well as being one of the deadliest. And now Hurricane Earl is set to make landfall on the same day that direct negotiations recommence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority under the auspices of the Obama administration. President Obama has set a deadline of one year by which Israel and the Palestinian Authority should reach an agreement, a process that will eventually lead to the division of God's land, as prophesied in the Old Testament (Zechariah 12:2, 14:2, Revelation 11:2).
Quote: "In a ceremony at the State Department, Clinton said the Obama Administration is committed to reaching a settlement in a year's time. But she stressed that after decades of failed attempts the main work belongs to Israeli PM Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas. "By being here today, you each have taken an important step toward freeing your peoples from the shackles of a history we cannot change and moving toward a future of peace and dignity that only you can create," she said. "We cannot and we will not impose a solution," Clinton said. "I know the decision to sit at this table was not easy," she added. "We understand the suspicion and skepticism that so many feel borne out of years of conflict and frustrated hopes."
The Bible tells us that during the tribulation period, the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem will be divided, and will fall to Gentile occupation. Joel 3:2 gives a stark warning to those nations that would seek to divide God's land.
We have witnessed in our lifetime the regathering of the Jewish people and the rebirth of the nation of Israel. We have seen firsthand the miraculous reunification of the city of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. The Lord truly has brought again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, just like He promised in His Word. But the second part of this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. The status of Jerusalem is fast becoming a "burdensome stone" to all nations, and the Bible states that all that burden themselves with it will be cut in pieces, though all the nations of earth be gathered together against it (Zechariah 12:2-3). We know that this peace process will eventually result in the division of Jerusalem. World leaders hope that by appeasing the Palestinian terrorist organizations, they will somehow be able to bring peace to the troubled Middle East. 'If only Israel could give up enough land', they'll say, 'then the Palestinians could live in peace with them'. But in reality this will be a sure sign to Israel's enemies of its 'weakness' and 'impending destruction'. The Scriptures state that when the leaders of this world will say "Peace and safety!", (or 'peace and security'), "then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape", 1st Thessalonians 5:3. And thus will begin the great tribulation period, which will culminate in the Second Coming of Christ and the judgement of this world.
The name 'Jehoshaphat' in Hebrew means 'the Lord judges'. Not only will God judge the nations in a coming day, but He has also appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31). The question is, have you made preparation for that day? Have you kept God's law in its entirety? The Bible says that no person has (Romans 3:23). How will you plead when the charges are read out by the Judge? According to Romans 3:19, there is only one plea you can make on the day of judgement, and that is "Guilty as charged". And there is an automatic death sentence (Romans 6:23). But there is good news. There is a Lawyer that is willing to represent your case. His name is Jesus Christ the Righteous (1st John 2:1). He was sentenced to death in your place. He bore the full weight of God's law when He died upon the cross for your sins (Isaiah 53:11). And to prove that He fully satisfied the justice of God for sin, that sin's penalty had been fully paid, God raised Him from the dead. And through Him you are able to make supplication to your Judge (Job 9:15). God's day of judgement is coming. Don't wait until it is too late. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.