Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"The Roaring and Tossing of the Sea" - Hurricanes and Tsunamis?

Hurricane Elena September 1985
Public Domain photo from NASA
While we're talking about weather and other natural or earth-related phenomena, I thought we'd hop over to the book of Luke 21 and look at two more prophecies there. (Tweet that!) The twenty-first chapter of Luke runs parallel to Matthew 24, meaning this is where Luke wrote his version of the same conversation Jesus had with his disciples that Matthew wrote in his chapter 24.

I wanted to take this slight detour because Luke mentions something Matthew did not. Luke talks about "the roaring and tossing of the sea." Here's the rest of that verse:

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea" (Luke 21:25, NIV). 

Just a note: As mentioned, we're looking at this verse in Luke because it seems similar to the other prophecies of natural phenomena that we've been looking at. However we are going a little out of order in the timing of when these events will occur. What we've been looking at in Matthew 24 so far (and will continue with tomorrow with another earlier verse, Luke 21:11), is the beginning of the list of happenings or events Jesus said would take place before his return. However this verse, Luke 21:25, is toward the end of that list Jesus gave, so we're skipping a bit forward.

If we can presume Jesus listed these events in a general order that they will occur in, then the "roaring and tossing of the sea" comes later, after the earthquakes and famines. Since Luke lists this later, that fact implies it will occur later, deeper into the End Times and closer to Jesus' return. That presumption is arguable though.

Anyway, "The roaring and tossing of the sea." What do you think that is? (Tweet that!)

Catarina March 26, 2004
Public Domain photo from NASA
What come to my mind are

  • hurricanes
  • tsunamis
  • and possibly other severe storms over the oceans.

Interestingly, in Revelation, when John wrote his prophecy and vision of the end times, there is a passage about the "sea" and John interprets that for us telling us it means great multitudes of people.

Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages" (Revelation 17:15, NIV).

Here in Luke, however, I do believe Jesus means literal storms at sea. But do you think there could also be a parallel of multitudes of people groups being in turmoil?

In recent years we've seen storms like:

  • Hurricane Katrina, August 23 - September 3, 2005 
  • Super Storm Sandy, October 22 - 31, 2012
  • March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake (the largest on record) triggers a tsunami that severely damages the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan.

Of course tsunamis are directly related to, and caused by, earthquakes, which we looked at in three posts last week.

Every year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts how many hurricanes will occur. The National Hurricane Center, which is part of NOAA, keeps tabs on hurricanes. 

As the prophecies Jesus gave draw nearer, we will see the frequency and intensity of these sea-storms increase. (Tweet that!) When these storms get this great, "nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea." Do you think we saw that after the tsunami hit Japan and during Super Storm Sandy?

The increase in these devastating storms will be greatly upsetting to a great many people, mostly people, I think, who do not know Jesus and who do not trust God. They will blame it on global warming or other ideas. They will be in anguish. They will be greatly perplexed, because they do not understand what God is doing. (Tweet that!)

What is God doing? Trying, still, to get their attention. To let them know time is running out. (Tweet that!) Some will listen and respond. Many will not. But for those who do listen and respond to Him, He promises to receive into His kingdom for all eternity. (Tweet that!)

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Coming Next:


  • July 17, 2014 "Pestilences in Various Places..."
  • July 19, 2014 "The Beginning of Birth Pains"

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