SUMMARY: On December 1st, 2016 at 8:00AM as many of us know, as storm cloud of dust arose separating Israel from Syria right along the border of Israel’s, Golan Heights. While there are a variety of opinions on this event, the question is, was this an act of God? In this Resolute Podcast, Vince Miller looks at this event and gives us his thoughts on unexplainable events from the last week.
On December 1st, 2016 at 8:00AM as many of us know, as storm cloud of dust arose separating Israel from Syria right along the border of Israel’s, Golan Heights. What was interesting about this dust storm was the unusual occurrence for the time of year, the location, but also the timing. Just three day’s prior, ISIS militant forces opened fire on Israeli soldiers along the neutral zone between Syria and Golan Heights. And this was also the first-time ISIS had directly attacked Israeli forces. During this fight, no soldiers were hurt, and three days later when they saw the dust cloud anomaly, Israeli soldiers immediately proclaimed that this was the “hand of God” protecting them from ISIS fighters positioned just across the border.
Now I have seen numerous opinions about this surfacing in social media that range from “this is God’s protection,” to “this was a simple natural occurrence,” and even “this was Allah’s protection of ISIS from Israel.” I believe events of this nature, are easy to see through our own worldview and this informs our conclusions. The situation in Israel is no different unless you fill in the details more and see more facts.
Perhaps this next story will add a little more convincing.
Christianity Today reported on December 6th, that new converts from Islam to Christianity had a front row seat to the dust storm in Golan Heights. One of the new converts said the group was concluding a mass baptism for 50 converts, when Islamist militants surrounded their bus and began firing on them. As they sped away, they were pursued by the militants, and the new converts with their leaders were surprised to see the wind picking up and dust suddenly began to swirl around them. Now get this…
Rizwan, one of the converts said, “Suddenly we saw a giant dust storm formed behind our bus. At first we all afraid of seeing the dust storm. We thought we may not be able to go beyond and will be held by the militants. But praise the Lord! Praise the Lord again and again! We all felt that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared upon the dust storm as a Mighty and Wonderful Man showing His protecting and lovely hands toward us with a sweet smile. Jesus saved us. He Himself blocked the road [to stop the] militants in the form of a dust storm.”
With this added detail, I find it hard to conclude that God providence was not involved. And as I have personally reflected on their situation, I believe what we are witnessing is the natural world being used supernaturally by the hand of God.
But let’s keep in mind, we are not really talking about a quote/unquote “dust storm” so much as we are talking about a “wind storm” that is carrying in it dust and debris.
But let’s consider a couple of more details.
Meteorologists have been puzzled by this storm. I have read quotes from expert meteorologists who have said, “this storm is unprecedented during the summer season,” and “the reason for this storm is unclear.” So, there is a strong evidence for the timing and the nature of this event as being very unusual. But not only unusual, it appears to be unexplainable at the present as well.
But in the Bible, the presence of wind is not unusual and not explainable. Wind was the power by which God caused the flood to recede in Genesis 8:1. It was also the power that brought the plaque of locusts on the Pharaoh in Egypt in Exodus 10:19. Throughout the Bible this is consistent, wind is used by God supernaturally to bring about divine salvation and divine consequence. From wind that carried quail into the desert to bring food to the Israelites, to the wind that destroyed Job’s house and killed his family. While the non-redeemed mind will want to avoid giving God credit for salvation or consequences; the Israelites, and even Satan himself, are not confused by God’s power to control the wind.
We must also remember that wind is used figuratively in the Bible to convey images. It captures imagery of the Holy Spirit (the wind of the Spirit), instability of a person’s character (tossed to and fro by the wind), divine testing (the wind blew against him) or comparison to something lacking substance (striving after the wind).
The meteorologist, even though confused by this specific event, understands that wind is produced when there are changes in the air temperature and air pressure. Unequal distributions of wind in the atmosphere cause wind. And air temperature and pressure, for the person with a redeemed mind, are under the full control and providence of God at all times. Just look to Matthew 8:24-27 reads…
24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?
This classic story reveals to the believer, that Jesus, God in the flesh, is in full control of the wind and all nature is at his disposal. For Jesus Christ commands the winds and waves. Which means to me, that we as believers should have no problem seeing God providence in the wind or in the situation in Israel. While others will want to dismiss this, we should have faith and not consciously dismiss what God might be doing around us. When we understand that God providentially guides and sustains our everyday lives, and the distinction between “natural” and “supernatural” fades.
So go forward today recognizing that the event in Israel is just further evidence for our God. And while the world looks at this event naturally, we should look at it supernaturally. Because men everything is supernatural to us. Everything. So go throughout your day anticipating the providence of God.