Agony

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Today, the Associated Press reported on the flood conditions in Eastern Arkansas and the Delta areas of Mississippi and Louisiana.1 This really is no surprise to me as where I live are the headwaters of the White River that flows into Missouri and then back into Eastern Arkansas before joining the Mississippi River. In the past month and a half, we have had three or four major rainstorms and some tornados. The tornados didn’t do near the damage the rain did. All three branches of the White River, the Main, Middle and West forks of the White river all went out of their banks in every storm. The worst was about three weeks ago.

However bad it was here, our problems were only temporary as the rivers were back down within 24 hours of the end of the storm. Yes, pretty severe damage was done to some areas. Roads were closed and bridges had to be checked. We lost a couple of individuals in the storms due to the combination of high water and a low water bridge.

It is downstream that the problems magnified. First they had to open the floodgates of Beaver Dam. That caused severe flooding downstream of the dam. However, it was either that, or watch the water top the dam, which would not be good at all. Worse yet, the storms we received, the areas North and East of us got as well. So it is that North Central and Northeast Arkansas and Missouri received several inches of rain in the space of a day or so, and then received all the downstream runoff from both the White and Arkansas Rivers. (The Arkansas River journeys from Northeast Oklahoma down to Fort Smith and then travels the valley through Little Rock and on into the Delta area of Eastern Arkansas before joining the Mississippi) With both rivers in flood stage from the repeated storms, combined with the runoff from the upstream Mississippi River, the Delta is experiencing a severe flood.

Now, this is really not a new thing. Over the years this happens pretty regularly. According to the report:

“Bradway has farmed the same 1,000 acres for three decades. He’s had floods big and small in 14 of those 30 years.”

So that means that it really is not all that unusual to have floods in the Delta area. What makes it bad is the extent and timing of the flood. To begin, this is the worst flooding since 1973. The report states that the Mississippi is seven feet above flood stage:

“The river has not reached this level—about 7 feet above flood stage—since 1973.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a total of 855,750 acres are under either Mississippi floodwater or backwater from the Yazoo River, which drains much of the board-flat Mississippi Delta into the Mississippi River. About 273,000 of those flooded acres are cleared for wheat, cotton, soybeans, corn and other crops.”

Moreover, the first of the flood hit just when the winter wheat crop was supposed to be harvested:

The flood hit just as farmers were preparing to harvest wheat and plant corn, soybeans and cotton. Some, like farmer Brad Bradway, were forced to watch as water crept inch by inch over his 110 acres of wheat until his fields sat under 8 feet of water.”

And it has caused other farmers to delay planting crops:

“Others are now stuck waiting for the water to recede and the ground to dry before they can plant, guaranteeing a shortened growing season, yield reductions and lower returns. This comes after a drought has left much of the region parched for several years.

“At one point I had 300 acres under water and 240 acres too dry to plant,” Bradway said. “What’s wrong with this picture?”“

Add to this the following:

“Input costs such as fuel and fertilizer have risen dramatically in just a few months. Diesel around Vicksburg costs more than $4 a gallon—or more than $100 per tank for the ubiquitous diesel pickup—and fertilizer that went for $68 an acre last season now runs $100.”

And this bit of gamble:

“He’s not alone. The flood has taken not only money farmers invested in the field, but much of the profit they expected. Worse, most sold their crops in advance to take advantage of prices so high few could resist.

Bradway sold 1,000 bushels of winter wheat to a distributor for $7 a bushel. When the flood took his crop, he was still on the hook. So he paid $10.50 a bushel to another distributor for wheat to satisfy his contract. He hopes to turn a profit on soybeans this summer.”

Considering last year’s bad Easter weekend freeze that destroyed crops and forced replanting (which cost even more money) this is the second year in a row that we will see shortfalls in crops from areas that normally produce in abundance.

Wonder why?

For starters, we could take into account who it is that actually controls the weather — you know, the LORD God.

You don’t suppose the LORD would be trying to get our attention do you? I think so, and in a major way. Yet, we do not see any sign of acknowledgement this is the case. Neither do we see any sign of repentance.

Now, it should be understood that the way the LORD dealt with Israel is an example of how the LORD deals with all nations. Indeed, we can see in Leviticus, chapter 18 and Deuteronomy, chapter 18 how the LORD warned Israel about taking up the customs of the heathen nations they were to drive out of Canaan. The LORD applied the very same standard to Israel that He applied to the heathen nations. He expressly told them that if they did the same things the heathen nations did, they to would be driven out of Canaan.

Just guess how that applies to us in America? The reality is that God has never held a different standard for one nation versus another. Even Israel was not, and is not exempt from The LORD God’s standards for behavior and conduct of a nation and society. The only difference for Israel was that they would never be wiped off the face of the earth (like so many other nations have been). However, the reason for this is not that Israel is special in the sense of being exempt from the LORD’s judgement. Rather it is due to the covenant the LORD God made with Abraham. Hence, Israel and the Jews have nothing to feel special about.

So then, we can take certain statements the LORD God made to Israel concerning their judgement when they departed from following Him, and apply them to us in modern day America. The only thing we cannot say is exactly how events will fall. However, we can rest assured, if we continue to violate the will of God, we will, as a nation, be destroyed.

Fair warning.

Personally, I don’t really care to be around when the LORD finally lowers the boom on America. I’d really rather not see that happen. In Amos, the LORD God gave warning to Israel about their continued unwillingness to listen to Him. I really don’t like the last statement the LORD makes through Amos. It’s quite scary.

And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. (Amos 4:6-12)

Hello, is anybody home, America? Or do you just want the agony of God’s judgement to continue?


  1. Mississippi River flood dooms promising year for farmers
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