He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does.
And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? Luke 12:54-57 (NIV)
Every continent has experienced devastation and destruction because of floods.
In 1963 in Northern Italy the Vaiont Dam on the Piave river was in the news when a vast avalanche swept down the slopes of Mount Toc, dumping thousands of tons of rock, mud, earth, and uprooted trees into the reservoir. The avalanche had the effect of a large stone being thrown into a basin of water – the dam overflowed and poured into the valley below. A towering wall of water, mud, rock and timber swept down the valley below and engulfed villages in a horrifying, overwhelming tide. The villages and hamlets of Longarone, Fae, Pirago, Codissago, and Castellavazzo were wiped out to various degrees. The final death toll was 1189 people.
In eastern Idaho in the USA at 11.57 a.m. on June 5, 1976, the thirty story Teton Dam started to crumble. Two hundred and seventy-five-million tons of water plunged through the cavity in the wall and sent a 35-metre wall of water cascading down onto the villages in the flood plains below. More than 2500 homes were destroyed, 17 000 head of livestock drowned, 100 000 acres of farmland were buried under sand and gravel, and the property damage totalled more than 200 million dollars. More than 2000 people were hurt, but miraculously only 11 died.
Five thousand people perished when the Manchu River Dam in Morvi, Gujarat, India, burst open on August 11, 1979.
In Quebec, Canada, on May 4, 1971, the little town of Saint-Jean-Vianne had 38 houses and their occupants sucked into a liquid landslide more than 30 metres deep. When the rain stopped the clay solidified and 31 men, women, and children had vanished for ever. Survivors were resettled and Saint-Jean-Vianne was wiped off all maps.
In Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on the evening of December 24, 1995, the Umzindusi River flooded its banks and washed people and homes along in its swirling waters. More than 150 people lost their lives.
Examples are numerous. Floods have made the headlines in the past and will continue to make them in the future. And, as we know, floods can mean suffering, heartache, the stench of rotting flesh, body bags, and coffins.
But none of the present day floods can match the account of The Great Flood. In Genesis chapter 6 to 8 you can read about the flood that occurred because God was not prepared to continue tolerating the sin and wickedness of man. As the Lord said in Genesis 6:3, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever . . .”
That’s a frightening warning. It reminds me of Luke 12:54-57 and how people are quick to interpret obvious signs like the “appearance of the earth and the sky” but are unable to interpret the signs of this present time. For, like the time of The Great Flood, “the earth is filled with violence” and “corruption” Genesis 6:11,13. People press on regardless. They ignore God and fail to respond to His cautions. Every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts are evil (cf. Genesis 6:5). And as a result they fail to realise that God will not contend with them forever.
That’s why I’m sounding a flood warning, raising the alarm, letting everyone know the end is near.
Make no mistake. This isn’t a false alarm. The time is coming when God will once again deal in judgement with the world. And it can happen at any time.
So take note. Twenty four hours before the rain began to fall on Noah’s Ark, the people didn’t believe the flood would come. Will it be the case that twenty four hours before Jesus’ second coming you still won’t believe that He’ll come? I hope not. For when He comes, if you’re not ready, it’s too late.