I live in an area of the world that suffers little (if ever really) from earthquakes. The last quake I felt was when I was on a mission trip to El Salvador. It was a fairly mild one and I thought that a large truck had rumbled a bit too close to our building until I realized that a truck could not have shaken the pool area I was in like that.
We do however have thunderstorms here. It was the thunder this morning that woke me up. Such deep vibrations that rattle the bones of this brick house. Thunder and earthquakes are some of the natural phenomenon that remind me just how small I am in the sight of my Creator God, and give me a glimpse of just how big He is.
Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution
Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:10-11 ESV)
And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Mark 13:7-8 ESV)
Signs of the End of the Age
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Matthew 24:3-8 ESV)
There are many references to earthquakes in scripture. Seven of them in Revelation alone. Just as God flooded the earth to destroy wicked humanity in Noah’s day, He is in control of this planet now, and He uses it for His purposes. The earthquakes are just the beginning…until the 7th Bowl is pour out and the great earthquake occurs.
The Seventh Bowl
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. (Revelation 16:17-19 ESV)
It is God’s wrath being poured out in His final days of judgement for the wickedness of men and of Satan. Woe to those who will be under the wrath of God!
He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again. On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. (Isaiah 24:18-22 ESV)
For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. (Ezekiel 38:19-20 ESV)
I cannot imagine the sounds of that day. Mountains crumbling, cliffs and walls all tumbling down. Cities being split apart and utterly destroyed. God will have the full attention of every person on earth. It will make the thunder that awoke me this morning seem as a kitten purring.
This is the fear of God, that I have a right understanding of who He is; a complete knowledge of the consequences of my disobedience to Him. His Word says that this is the beginning of knowledge. (Your life vest is under your seat.)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)
It is the wisdom from heaven that I seek to obtain and walk in. It is found in God’s Word. His Holy Spirit will guide me as I seek Him.
Let us take Paul’s advice to Timothy:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)
To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (Revelation 19:6-8 ESV)
Amen and Amen! Be encouraged. God wins. Thunder will rumble again by the sound of our praise. Love wins. Press on!