Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 3 Study # 18
September 4, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<183> Thesis: How shall we respond to the actions of God? Introduction: This week we have witnessed what is being called the greatest natural disaster to have ever occurred in the United States. But it was not a natural disaster. That terminology is specifically designed to remove us from having to deal with the more painful issues that are involved. The most painful issue that is involved is the realization within the innermost part of us that "nature" is a figment of imagination and "God" is the reality. And, to think that God rules from heaven without also thinking that disaster comes under that rule is beyond foolish. So, since God is involved at the very least "permissively" and at the very most "determinatively", what shall we say? The mayor of New Orleans was recorded as saying that what has happened was an act of God in judgment upon the entire region affected by hurricane Katrina. Of course, his words were much like those of Caiaphas in John 11:50 -- an unwitting statement that meant far more than he could have ever realized in his wicked heart. Caiaphas unwittingly said that it was expedient for one man to die for the people so the entire nation would not perish; the mayor of New Orleans said that Katrina was the worst God-damned disaster to ever hit the U.S. In the wickedness of his own heart, he acknowledged the truth. He only said what many insurance companies in this country openly acknowledge in their policies: disasters are "acts of God". So, beneath all of the "public-speak", "politically correct" outpouring of the politicians' "sympathy" there is the haunting fact that all men already know: Katrina was an act of God...and no one who has been watching the national news can gainsay what He has done -- for the reactions of men have not been either repentant or humble. Instead they have been wicked and filled with rage. This fact stands clearly before us: God acts and men react. The question we face is this: how should men react when God acts? Interestingly, the paragraph before us this morning in Luke 2 is specifically about this very issue: responding to the action of God.