By Pastor David Whitney
The California wildfires have taken more than 31 lives and are now the deadliest fires in the history of that State. There are 10,000 fire fighters now in the field. “Santa Rosa lost 2,834 homes and approximately 400,000 square feet of commercial space, and Mayor Chris Coursey expects the numbers to grow.
The tales of this week are growing increasingly tragic. As the Redwood Valley fire swept through Mendocino County, the Shepherd family hurried to escape, first by car and then by foot when the vehicles caught fire. Kai Shepherd, a 14-year-old who loved the San Francisco Giants and wrestling, did not make it out alive, his aunt Mindi Ramos said.
“The firestorm washed over them,” Ramos said.
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His sister, Kressa, was so badly burned her legs were amputated below the knee at a Sacramento hospital where her mother, Sara, was also being treated. Jon Shepherd, Kai’s father, remains at a burn center in San Francisco, Ramos said. The family’s Redwood Valley home on West Road is gone.
In Sonoma County, sheriff crews and cadaver dogs began combing through rubble and charred remains, targeted searches of missing persons. The grim task of identifying the dead could take weeks or months, officials said. Some bodies already located “were nothing more than ash and bones,” Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said. One identification was made through an ID number on a prosthetic hip replacement.
Sonoma officials received 1,000 reports of missing persons, some duplicates, and by Thursday afternoon 603 people had been located, leaving 400 missing.
Pilot Todd Hudson, who has been flying missions… is still wrapping his head around what the fires are doing to the area where he was born and raised.
“One of these fires would be mind-boggling, and there’s multiple fires,” he said. “It’s jaw-dropping.”
I think we should consider if any of this could be the judgment of God. We must ask a question prior: has California earned a deserved judgment?
Well, let’s first look at history. California was the first state in the union to directly attack and undermine God’s holy institution of marriage. Back when Ronald Reagan was Governor, he signed the no-fault divorce statute unleashing a title wave of divorces, not only in California, but in all other 49 states that followed its lead. Another great devastation California delivered to the world was the production and widespread distribution of pornography. The multibillion dollar industry was centered in the San Fernando Valley. We could also speak of the redefinition of marriage and the promotion of sodomy, and now, the insanity of transgender people demanding special privileges.
Consider a piece of legislation that Governor Brown signed this month. The piece of paper says that if you mis-gender someone in California it is a $1000 dollar fine. The definition of mis-gendering is someone who is mentally mixed up enough that they think they’re not the biological gender in which they were born. So, if you use the wrong pronoun in reference to them, it is now a crime in California. For example, if a man is so benighted to think he is not a man, but instead a woman, and wants everyone around him to participate in his delusion, they must participate or they pay a fine of $1000. So, instead of helping people who are possessed by a form of insanity deal with their problem, we must participate in their insanity or we will pay a $1000 fine in California. It’s no wonder they refer to the man that signed that bill as Governor moon beam. He is out of his mind, dwelling in the land of lunatics.
However, before we jump to conclusions we ought to remember what Jesus said when people asked him about a disaster that occurred nearby.
Luke 13:1-5 says, “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 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 Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Jesus does not deny that those who suffered these disasters were suffering the judgment of God. Rather Jesus warns us to examine ourselves to see if we are worthy of similar judgment. So, this is a clear take away from not only the California wildfires, but also the Mexican earthquakes, the ferocious hurricane season and all the other disasters around the world. It should cause us to examine ourselves, repent of our sins and turn to the Lord.
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