A Few Example Posts:

  • "The End of Faith: A Short Response to Sam Harris"
  • See also:
  • "A Long Response to Sam Harris' The End of Faith, by Neil Shenvi"

  • "Is John Piper the Best Answer to Emergence and Postmodernism?"

  • "Captured"

  • "The Storm is Over"

  • "If Golfing Were the Pursuit of Moral Perfection"

  • 9.06.2005

    Did God Send Katrina?

    Sermon Notes from John Rush. Delivered September 4, 2005

    Text: Psalm 29

    Introduction: I grew up in Kansas where you can see a thunderstorm coming miles away. You can see the clear blue sky above the thunderhead. You can see the entire thunderhead, and then the blue sky underneath it. You can see lightning strike from the clear blue above, through the thunderhead, and to the sky below--and then it hits the ground. I enjoyed watching these thunderstorms brew. One of the most beautiful thunderstorms I saw was just outside Austin, Texas. The clouds filled the sky, and the clouds themselves were filled with lightning flashing from one side to the other. Right now, I know that storms, or a A STORM, has been on everyone’s mind. It fills the media pipelines with nothing but the aftermath of destruction. Yesterday, I was listening to the radio as I drove and heard President Bush say that Hurricane Katrina left a disaster area the size of Great Britain. This morning, I want to talk to you about the Bible’s description of a storm and show you the truth that God is Glorious.

    Theme: God is Glorious


    God on the Wings of the Storm

    I. God is Glorious in the Midst of Heaven: verses 1 -2:

    A. “Mighty Ones”: Refers to Angelic Hosts

    - Revelation 5 :11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands

    -Isaiah 6:2-4 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

    Even the sinless angels cannot look directly upon God and their continual cry of worship is Holy! Holy! Holy!

    B. Magnify God:

    1. Ascribe Him Glory v.1
    2. Ascribe Him Strength v.1
    3. Bend your Knees in Worship: The beauty of holiness: Heaven is a place of beauty, transcendence, and purity.

    “This is a very significant psalm for it mentions the Lord eighteen times. If we add to that the use of pronouns and the mention of God and King we have God mentioned no less than twenty-five times in eleven short verses.” 1 - John Philips

    “Neither men nor angels can confer anything upon Jehovah, but they should recognize his glory and might, and ascribe it to him in their songs and and their hearts.” 2 -CHS

    Transition: The Glory of God in Heaven is Reflected in Earth: The Whole Earth is Full of His Glory. Now we see this Glory in the Course of Nature:

    II. God is Glorious in the Course of Nature: verses 3 - 9

    A. The Storm forms over the Mediterranean. vv. 3-4

    The concept of a brewing storm: The voice of God thunders increasingly in a cannonade of pealing claps of roaring, crashing, rumbling thunder!

    B. The Storm slams into the Mountains of Lebanon vv. 5-7

    1. The Cedars Snap
    2. The Mountains Skip: “Rough Motion, accompanied with noise” 3

    Illust: Recent earthquake at Hot Springs, NC. Registered 3.8.

    3. The lightning Strikes: Illust: John Deer 8650, 30 foot disk. I saw the rain and lightning coming.

    C. The Storm shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh vv. 8-9a.

    1. The hinds calve. The deer are so agitated by the storm, they birth their fawns.
    2. The leaves flee. The leaves flee from the face of the wind and leave the trees to stand alone.

    D. The Storm Demands a Response from Man. v. 9b.

    1. The Temple is a Place of Worship. Temple = Creation or Temple in Jerusalem
    2. The Worshippers acknowledge the Glory of God. People gathered in the porticoes of the Temple to watch the storm and attribute glory to Jehovah God.

    “In His temple doth everyone speak of His Glory.” As people point, “ooh”, and “ahh” at a massive fireworks show on the 4th of July, God’s people watch the storm in wonder and awe and attribute glory to God.

    III. God is Glorious in the Heart of Man v. 10-11

    A. God is a God of Judgment v. 10

    1. “Flood” here is a direct reference to Noah’s flood. The powerful God that makes the thunderstorm, hurricane, tornado, rain, thunder, lightning, and wind is the God who destroyed the world in judgment. Genesis 6.

    2. He used the waters to wipe man from the face of the earth for the land was filled violence.

    3. He has the right and the authority to judge since He is the Sovereign One. 10b

    B. God is a God of Mercy v. 11

    1. God delivered the righteous from the Worldwide Flood. (Noah)
    2. God delivered his people Israel from her enemies.
    3. God delivers his Church out of the coming storm of judgment.

    Lessons from the Storm:

    1. God has all Power. Earthly storms are but dim reflections of God’s powerful hand. We cannot move or stay the hand of God. We did not cause Katrina. We could not stop Katrina.

    2. God is involved with His Creation: The Voice of God was upon the Waters. Scientific laws are but man’s descriptions of how God rules the created order. He uses Patterns in Providence. (Don’t be a Deist.)

    · God is God over the Seas
    · God is God over the Mountains
    · God is God over the Flat Lands
    · God is God over the Plants (Trees)
    · God is God over the Animals (Hinds do calve)
    · God is God over the People
    · God is God over the Angels

    3. God rules over the Unseen Lands: Where man is not, God is. He is sovereign over the animals that have never seen the face of man.

    4. God has the Prerogative to Create and to Destroy: Did Katrina come from God? Yes.

    Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Evil does not mean moral evil. It means calamity.

    Why did God send Katrina? I don’t know. Was it judgment? If it were, how would we know? No prophet has come to say, “God will send a storm to the U.S. as judgment!”

    The best way, I think, to look at it is this:

    God has the right to take an individual life.

    He has the right to take multiple lives.

    If he has that right, he has the right to destroy material possessions.

    Just as an individual death causes us to reflect and recognize our own dependence and mortality, a great calamity should cause us to reflect and recognize our dependence upon God.

    Any reflection that leads to repentance is, in the end, a blessing. But I cannot speak as a prophet of God over a particular event. I cannot say the storm was God’s judgment.

    The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike--in blessing or calamity.

    5. God desires to Give His People Peace:

    Illustration: The famous artist commissioned by his town to paint a picture depicting peace to be unveiled at the town's bicentennial.

    When the painting was unveiled it was a picture of a storm and the artist had to explain the peace of the bird in the cleft of a rock asleep during the storm. And he said... And I say...
    "Peace is not the absence of a storm. It is the ability to rest in the midst of the storm!

    God is at work in the storms of your life to cause your life to glorify God!

    Check Out this Site: (Copy and Paste the URL)




    1. John Phillips, Exploring the Psalms vol. 1 (Neptune, NJ; Loizeaux Brothers, 1988), 217.

    2. Spurgeon, Treasury of David.
    3. Spurgeon, Treasury of David.


    At 2:57 PM, Blogger Steve Weaver said...

    Good God honouring sermon! Keep up the good work!

    At 7:38 PM, Blogger Joe said...

    God is God and I am not (for which we can all be thankful).

    I subscribe to the branch of theology called "Bad Stuff."

    It says that bad stuff is in the world because of the Sin (as opposed to sins) of mankind.

    Whesreas God can interfer with and be involved in the minutia of everything that happens, He usually reserves His interference for special occasions, such as the great flood.

    He has set in motion the laws of physics, etc. about which He knows much more than all of the physicists past present and future.

    When He has determined that we need to learn something, He acts soverignly to instigate or prevent events.

    The whole key, it seems to me, is the absolute soverignty of God by which we must admit that God can do what He wants, when He wants and is not obligated to explain Himself to me.

    In fact, He almost never checks with me about anything. It is my duty to check with Him.

    Was the storm "an act of God?" You are quite right. We don't know and He does not have to tell us.

    We must only trust and obey.

    At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Was the storm "an act of God?"
    please wake up buddy!....
    you are a deluded person believing in fairy tales...
    you are like a kid who believes in father christmas, or king kong or zok the greater,...and if you have the slight knowledge of who was jesus christ (who joined and helped the different, the poor, the unusal) you'd realized that he would never, together with GOD (uuuu god!!), sparks an hurricane to the poor and black and gaysh New Orleans, he would instead spark it to the right-wing-white-extremist-church-people land in the middle of the USA, because that is what he was against to (remember?),
    ...(by the way, i'm white, married, eterosexual, and fortunately living in europe...where if you say something like "Did God Send Katrina?" they probably take you for mad and put in a mental hospital), bye.

    At 10:43 AM, Blogger John Rush said...


    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your anger and hate. I am sorry the post prompted you to react in this manner and can only hope that you can truly see what I was and was not trying to say.

    Sounds like you are battling a lot of stereotypes and straw men in your mind. However, I am not angry at you for this.

    Thanks for stopping by.


    At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Jeremy Faison said...

    Thought to anonymous
    Jesus came not to condemn but to save.
    My sins and yours put Him on the cross regardless of political spectrum you happen to be on. Still He was and is victorious in showing His love. For mortals to do more than just hypothesize about the mind of God is futile. We can only gather certain truths about the Godhead from the written Word. Anything more on your part or mine is pure speculation. God is supreme! He is Just! God is Love! God is Sovereign! He loves you with a passion that you can only begin to understand if you except His gift of life.
    DID God cause Katrina? He is God the earth is His footstool. He controls everything.

    Jeremy Faison


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