When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 and the levees broke, there was more than one accusing voice which said it was the Bourbon Street sin that caused the hand of God to unleash on the city.
Did you know that Jesus spoke to this? He said, “Not so fast.” Of course, he didn’t mention Katrina – he referred to another disaster caused by a wicked ruler, and then this one…
“…those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:4, 5 (ESV)
It’s what some tend to assume, isn’t it? When natural disasters or 9/11s come, they come because of the sin of those affected, or in the case of 9/11, the particular sexual sin of America, as some Christian leaders espoused at that time.
But Jesus refused to say why such things happened. However, He did clearly say it was not the particularly worse sin of those who died. That’s very instructive. And it’s important to remember so we don’t look foolish by calling the sin of others necessarily worse than our own.
But what’s even more instructive is what he said we are to learn from it:
“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
It goes without saying that everyone who heard Jesus’ sermon that day 2,000 years ago is long gone – so you see, here’s what the Lord is saying:
Your own Tower of Siloam is coming. Katrina will come to your shores. But it will likely not be a hurricane. Perhaps it will just be a very old heart that stops beating in the middle of the night or, then again, it might be the doctor’s cancer diagnosis. It might be a slick road and a car skidding out of control, but it will be a Tower for you. It will be a Katrina, a personal one…meant just for you.
And unless you turn from your sin, your personal tower of Siloam or your personal Katrina will cause you to perish…everlastingly.
In other words, the tower is leaning, and the storm clouds are gathering…
Therefore, repent, and believe the gospel.
For Monday, July 20th: Luke 14