Hurricane Katrina:

Why New Orleans and Why Now?

 

By Tim McHyde

 

I feel deja vu. After having just witnessed the Gaza pullout and commenting on how sad it is to see people lose their homes and have to evacuate to live somewhere else, here I am again having to consider the exact same event replayed with one of our own important American cities. The parallel is obvious, as Avner Bosky observes below:

New Orleans and Gaza Parallels

* Recent comments over the past hours on the FOX NEWS Channel eerily parallel what has just happened in Gaza. One commentator referred to the inhabitants of New Orleans and said, "It must be an emotional experience to walk away from their houses and not know if they will be able to live in them again." That is exactly what has transpired here this past week for Gaza's Jewish population.

* Another commentator said that most of all the wooden structures in New Orleans will be destroyed. Nearly all of the structures in Gaza's Jewish communities and farms have been destroyed.

* Ivor Van Heeden, deputy director of Louisiana State University's Hurricane Center, recently said on FOX that there is a high probability that the hurricane will loosen many of the coffins in New Orleans and that corpses will be loosened and moved from their resting places. One of the three top items on Israel's news tonight was the forced removal of Jewish graves from the Gaza Strip and the transportation of the corpses for reburial in other parts of Israel.

* Whereas Gaza was placed under a state of emergency as its 8,000 residents were evacuated, now New Orleans has been given orders for a mandatory evacuation of nearly 500,000 people.

* Whereas many Israeli Jews from Gaza are in temporary refugee camps and tent cities, there is talk of up to one million refugees needing to be settled in temporary camps in the Louisiana and Mississippi area.

New Orleans-Gaza Connection: No Coincidence; God-incidence

But it's no accident that these parallel events happened back to back as they did. The connection was apparently a fulfillment of a promise God made concerning his first chosen nation (who would need special protection considering Satan would want to eradicate it):

Genesis 12:3 (KJV) — And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Joel 3:2 (KJV) — I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Bill Koenig explains that the timing of Hurricane Katrina coincided with the end of the Gaza pullout, undeniably connecting the two:

On Monday, August 22, the last Jewish settlement in Gaza was evacuated — wrapping up Israel's historic pullout from the coastal strip after settlers held a farewell march behind Torah scrolls and a massive menorah, then boarded armored buses and left.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas spoke by telephone and expressed their commitment to peace -- the first conversation between the two since the pullout started, a senior Palestinian negotiator said.

The leaders spoke for about five minutes, with Mr. Abbas telling Mr. Sharon, “We are your partners for peace,” according to negotiator Saeb Erekat.

The next day, August 23, the day after the completion of the Gaza evacuation, the government of the Bahamas issued a tropical storm warning for central and northwestern Bahamas. (Putting this storm into perspective, many of the tropical storms and hurricanes begin off the western coast of Africa and typically take ten days to two weeks before affecting the Bahamas, the Caribbean and/or the U.S. coastline. Not Katrina.)

By Wednesday, August 24 at 11 am, the newly formed tropical depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Katrina; and by Thursday, August 25 at 5 pm, Katrina becomes a hurricane. In a period of only 72 hours, tropical depression 11 developed and hit southeast Florida (the only area untouched by the past six hurricanes) as a hurricane.

Hurricane Katrina is now expected to be the costliest weather related disaster in U.S. history. It was devastating in intensity and size. If it hadn’t been for a last minute break in the eye-wall it would have very likely destroyed the city of New Orleans and cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

Why New Orleans, Instead of Another City?

As I commented in my Gaza Pullout article, America is responsible for Sharon having to make the unilateral move he did because of the Oslo Peace Accords they sponsored over 10 years earlier. Oslo armed the Palestinian terrorists, enabling them to make it too costly for Israel to defend the 10000 settlers in Gaza. But this only explains why America would have to pay. The natural question then is, why New Orleans instead of some other city? Here's an answer from a man who saw this disaster coming and predicted it:

...The city is also renowned for occult practices, particularly voodoo.

Michael Brown, creator of the immensely popular SpiritDaily.com website - popularly known as the Catholic Drudge Report, has said that Katrina was "definitely" a purification for New Orleans. Brown points out that the name Katrina itself means "pure". And that, Brown told LifeSiteNews.com, is not a coincidence. "I don't believe in coincidences," said Brown, adding that God has everything in His control and "I think that everything is interwoven."

LifeSiteNews.com contacted Brown due to his startlingly accurate prediction of the events in New Orleans in 2001, when he issued what is now being seen as a warning to New Orleans. In 2001 Brown wrote a piece about what he felt was upcoming disaster for New Orleans.

Brown began, "There are few cities with so many good as New Orleans and also few cities where there is such a stark coexistence with the bad. It is this city, the Big Easy, that is home to kind and generous and Christian people . . . and yet also this city that has allowed evil to flourish in a way that has become truly dangerous." Noting the occult practices and the sexual immorality, Brown warned, "When you invoke dark spirits, you get a storm. The very word hurricane comes from the Indian hurukan for evil spirit."

Brown claims no hearing of inner voices, but said in his warning to the city, "When I visited the National Hurricane Center, they told me there was no place that gave them the meteorological willies like your city." Describing what would befall the city if a major hurricane were to strike, Brown said, "On Bourbon Street -- which has turned into a stretch of porn shops, strip joints, and hooter bars -- there would be water to the second story."

"Officials told me that in the best of circumstances 100,000 would be stranded . . . If a category-five made landfall between your city and Baton Rouge . . . it would be 'the most catastrophic hurricane in the history of the United States.'"

Repent America director Michael Marcavage agrees:

ACT OF GOD DESTROYS NEW ORLEANS DAYS BEFORE "SOUTHERN DECADENCE" 31/8/05

PHILADELPHIA - Just days before "Southern Decadence", an annual homosexual celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarters section of New Orleans, an act of God destroys the city.

"Southern Decadence" has a history of filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars. Last year, a local pastor sent video footage of sex acts being performed in front of police to the mayor, city council, and the media. City officials simply ignored the footage and continued to welcome and praise the weeklong celebration as being an "exciting event". However, Hurricane Katrina has put an end to the annual celebration of sin.

On the official "Southern Decadence" website (www.SouthernDecadence.com), it states that the annual event brought in "125,000 revelers" to New Orleans last year, increasing by thousands each year, and up from "over 50,000 revelers" in 1997. This year’s 34th annual "Southern Decadence" was set for Wednesday, August 31, 2005 through Monday, September 5, 2005, but due to massive flooding and the damage left by the hurricane, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has ordered everyone to evacuate the city.

The past three mayors of New Orleans, including Sidney Barthelomew, Marc H. Morial, and C. Ray Nagin, issued official proclamations welcoming visitors to "Southern Decadence". Additionally, New Orleans City Council made other proclamations recognizing the annual homosexual celebration.

"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence’, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same," he continued.

New Orleans is also known for its Mardi Gras parties where thousands of drunken men revel in the streets to exchange plastic jewelry for drunken women to expose their breasts. This annual event sparked the creation of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series.

"Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long," Marcavage said. "May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God," Marcavage concluded.

"[God] sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)
RepentAmerica.com

Now let me hasten to add that this is not the full answer for why New Orleans instead of another city was hit. I do not pretend to fully understand all the criteria and the methods by which God decides things. This is not to say that New Orleans was the most wicked city and that's why it happened. We know from Jesus' clear statements that that is not how it works:

Luke 13:4-54 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Instead, I think that above points are merely possible explanations for why God withdrew his hand of protection from New Orleans when a naturally occurring hurricane was headed for this city so unwisely constructed below sea level next to the ocean, a lake and a river.

A Judgment From God? What About the Innocent?

In other words, this was not a judgment from God himself, like on Sodom and Gomorrah (or prophesied for America in Revelation 18) where it's clearly supernatural or just about everyone dies and the city never rises again. Instead it was exactly what we read earlier in Genesis 12:3: a curse against America for cursing or mistreating Israel by forcing the "parting of her land." New Orleans will rise again.

But what about the innocent lives that were lost or poor innocent people who were made homeless by this event? Surely it was not God's will that they suffer from this? Would not this be unfair of God even to "curse" a city in this way?

At the risk of sounding uncompassionate, God does not hold off judgment for the merely humanistically "innocent". None are innocent by God's standards unless they have grace and you do not receive grace unless you are diligently seeking God and to do his will (no matter what level of understanding of that you may have). If you do this, it is "accounted to you as righteousness" (Gen 15:6) and God promises blessings and protection to those in this category, but not to the merely lukewarm innocent. Abraham's pleading for the righteous, not the innocent, of Sodom when God planned to judge the city demonstrates this. Abraham did not pray for innocent or the entire city.

Genesis 18:23-26 (NIV)23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?
25 Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
26 The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

So what about the righteous in New Orleans, what hope did they have? I'm sure stories of miraculous or highly unlikely deliverances from Katrina will surface soon. And we must not forget that there was a warning of this from men (quoted above) and also nature. Just the year before, when Hurricane Ivan obligingly curved to the east as it came ashore, barely grazing a grateful city, this issue of the possible sinking of New Orleans was raised in the public awareness. If I was one of the righteous living in New Orleans, the near miss would have caught my attention and caused me to ask God in my prayer closet: "Are you trying to tell us something? Is it time to move?" But even if this does not occur to someone to ask, God will find a way to motivate the righteous to move out of harm's way (sometimes by using a "blessing in disguise" like lose of their job forcing a relocation, etc.)

Katrina: A Message to the Wicked Nation or the Lukewarm "Church"?

In closing, I do not believe this was a judgment on America or New Orleans to warn the wicked nation to repent. When God wants to do that, we see in the Bible that he sends a prophet like he did to Nineveh with that message spoken clearly. Rather, I see this event as a message only to those whom God is calling, which is a minority, not the masses. What do I mean? Well, think about it. Only the righteous have eyes to see and ears to hear to discern what probably was going on with Katrina in New Orleans. Jesus taught in parables to hide God's truth from those who were not called yet so that only the called ones who had their minds opened to spiritual understanding could understand these mysteries. And we have a problem with the called out ones today as we can read in the prophetic message to the called out ones of Laodicea from Jesus:

Revelation 3:14-18 (NIV)14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16 So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Jesus is saying we need to wake up and do what we've been called to do. I have observed that starting with Y2K, the scares of the 21st century (9-11, Sumatra, and now Katrina) have served to get the attention of those whom God has called but who are unfortunately distracted by the cares of the world and stuck in a backslidden state. It's all too common and too easy to end up this way (and I was this way myself before Y2K predictions in 1998 began to scare me straight). Others I have spoken to said 9-11 woke them up. I'm sure that I will meet people soon who will tell me that Katrina got their attention and made them realize that it was time to get serious about the calling they know they have from God to live a set apart life according to the teaching of the Bible.

And it's ok if you start out doing God's will from fear and desiring protection in this increasingly unsafe world. God meets us where we are at using what motivates each of us. He knows that as we practice what we understand of his ways, even for less than ideal reasons, that we will eventually see that they are best and desire to do them all the time for the right reasons, for love and gratitude towards him our Creator and Father.

Just make no mistake: Katrina is not an isolated event. There will be more wake up calls coming more frequently to prepare the righteous remnant for a global catastrophe prophesied in the Bible that will make every place on earth look like New Orleans—and that's no exaggeration.

Tim McHyde

 

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