Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Deu 8:17 Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'
Deu 8:18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Deu 8:19 And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.
I have found these passages particularly relevant in the past months over the state of America's economy. Now it has hit closer to home. You see, just a few weeks prior to Fargo receiving an enormous amount of national news attention over this flood fight, there was a CNN story on how Fargo seemed to be immune to the nation's economic woes. (And the Bison were in the NCAA tourney.) So as we puffed up over our great local economy we failed to give eye to the swelling river. Now, I don't believe pride goes before a fall because that's just the way it works; it happens because that's just the way God works. Should we forget that it is Him who gives wealth then He will allow us to fall so that we will return to Him. He wants us to realize our dependence upon Him. He is always upholding and sustaining us. We just need reminders sometimes. (Just to be careful, the Deut. passage is God speaking to Israel and of His covenant with them. I present it not as directly connected to the flood, but as insight into how God operates.)
I heard on the national news coverage someone question why people live here if it just floods all the time, referring to the flood of 1997. It must be acknowledged that people here should have learned after '97 to better address the issue. Now people may very well move away because of this flood. So you have the choice of which natural disaster you prefer: earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, etc. This isn't mother nature we are talking about--it's God. You can't move away from Him.
Rick Warren has said emphatically that natural disasters are not "God's will." Hmm...not sure what "Bible" that came from. I would agree that if this were not a fallen world there wouldn't be such disasters--creation was subjected to futility because of man's sin (Rom. 8:20-21, Gen. 3:18). So if we are talking about sin being contrary to God's will, I agree. But the Bible clearly communicates that all the weather is actively controlled by God, so I should certainly think it is God's will. There's not much you can argue given Amos 3:6b, "Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?" Of course not. For that reason, I love the phenomenon of weather. It is such an awesome way that God displays His power and reminds us of our weakness. While I am sympathetic to those whose lives were thrown in disarray by the flood, I've been overcome with excitement since the whole thing started. Read Job 37 and Psalm 104 for an example of what I mean. Here's a taste:
Job 37:9 From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds.
Job 37:10 By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.
Job 37:11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning.
Job 37:12 They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world.
Job 37:13 Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen.
So I say
Psa 104:31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works,
Psa 104:32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!
Psa 104:33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
Psa 104:34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
Psa 104:35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!
To be continued...