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My family and I had just deplaned in San Diego when we heard the news of the bridge collapsing back in our home state of Minnesota. It was a sobering time as we watched the news, wondering if we knew anyone, how many had perished, how many lives would be devastated through this calamity.

Among my many questions arose one in my heart that I needed to address. Was there a higher purpose or cause to this event that we need to understand? Was this a judgment from God? Was this an act of Satan? or do we just relegate it to human failure and join in the blame game pointing fingers at the politicians and officials who should have been more concerned for public safety?

The unspiritual will consider it utter foolishness that either a devil or a god of any kind is involved in the lives of man. (I Cor 1,2) The collapse of the bridge will eventually be determined to be a combination of some weakened structural elements that failed under the stress of the activities at the time. There will be accusations, blaming the failure on some responsible parties for not addressing the problem in a timely manner, some laws may be written and the whole event will become another tragedy in human history with little comfort for those who lost so much.

There are many who will place the blame for this squarely on Satan as the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy. It certainly fits his character… however, this implies that Satan has greater power than the One who holds all things together (Col 1:17) Without the permission of the Son, Satan, who has been disarmed, cannot cause anything to collapse that is held together by Him who holds all things together. He who knows all things and is perfect in wisdom and power is not surprised or overcome by a defeated enemy. So I would be careful in attributing most calamities to our adversary, the devil. Though he prowls about seeking to devour he can only cause such events with permission.

Was it God Himself? I have heard many say that it would be almost blasphemous to accuse our loving heavenly Father of such a tragic event. I would caution, however, that such a statement has the familiar echo of those who erroneously believe that a loving God would never send anyone to hell. Some are quick to declare that it’s a judgment of God due to the gross sin of our nation or state. Though we are certainly deserving of such judgment and I believe that there is a great storm about to break in upon this nation if we do not repent; I do not want to simply label it as such without understanding the heart of Jesus in this specific time. I think we cannot rule out too quickly that our God might indeed be involved in these types of events. He orchestrates history to gain the attention of mankind for the purpose of turning their hearts back to Him. This is recounted time and time again in the history of mankind and particularly Israel. As we draw nearer to the end of this age and the increasing birth pangs are felt throughout the earth, we need to remind ourselves that there is great calamity for mankind on the horizon, calamity defined by God Himself and part of it carried out by Satan and his forces of influence in both the human and spiritual realms. Ultimately 50% of the human race will die throughout the course of the final 7 years of this age… if it happened today that would be over 3 billion people! That does not include the death toll as a result of the 7 bowls of wrath in the last few days of history as we know it… Guard your heart that you do not become offended at how He works in this time…

I have heard multiple testimonies of how people were warned by the Spirit to avoid the bridge at that very time. I have heard of believers and unbelievers alike having dreams and visions of a bridge falling just days before August 1. When I first heard that a bridge had fallen in Minnesota, my first response was “what, another one?” Since then I’ve come to realize that there was no other bridge, but that I had dreamt that it had happened and can still see the images from my dream. Amos 3:7 tells us that God does nothing unless He reveals it to His prophets. It seems that He did reveal this, but not in such a way to stop it, as though it were a plot of the enemy.

I also realized that it fit an eerily familiar pattern in relation to the Land of Israel. I don’t have time to go into it, but Hurricane Katrina devastated the south central portion of our nation, taking lives, disrupting millions of families and impacting our economy. This just a few days after Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip with significant pressure from our American leaders. Just a few days before the bridge collapsed a letter was sent to President Bush from ‘leading evangelicals’ supporting the continued pressure that this administration is putting on Israel to pull out of Samaria and Judea. This in addition to a former president publishing a book vehemently opposed to Israel. Are these tragedies possibly the natural consequences of violating God’s supernatural laws that He put in place concerning Israel. (For more info see: Eye to Eye by William Koenig - watch.org )

As we went about our time with family in California, enjoying the marriage of my nephew, I continued to ponder these questions, seeking wisdom from the Holy Spirit who dwells within me. One morning, according to John 16:13-14 where Jesus said the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and take what is of Jesus and reveal it us, I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what Jesus thought of this event. Immediately I was reminded that Jesus had spoken to his disciples concerning a couple of tragedies that had occurred in their day. I searched and found the event in Luke 13.

Luke 13:1-5 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

As I read, immediately I saw two things: Pilate’s slaughter of worshippers, mixing their blood with that of their sacrifices reminded me of many of the terrorist actions we see today. The tower falling is obviously a direct reflection to the bridge falling and whether it was a natural calamity or the result of man’s incompetence or the hand of God or an act of Satan, Jesus focused on one word that needed to be heard above all others: repent, or you too will perish.

As I prayed and pondered all of this, I asked the question again; was this God, the devil or a manmade failure? I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer is: Yes.

Yes, it was manmade failure. It was an imperfect design, it was imperfect management of an aging structure, it was probably a failure to properly weigh the real risk against the real cost.

Yes, it was the devil. It has his finger prints all over it, but probably more in the darkness and blindness over those who were responsible for the design, maintenance and risk management. We live in a fallen world and the wisdom of man is deficient in many ways due much to the blindness caused by this one who hates mankind with a passion. Did his demons push on some weak point in such a way to cause the collapse? I don’t know, but in my spirit, I don’t sense it that way.

Yes, it was God, for He had to allow it for it to happen and ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSES! In light of Luke 13, I believe this was one more wake up call for the church and for our nation - it is one more way in which our Loving God is calling us back: Repent! Turn to Me with your whole heart! (Joel 2:12)

How do we respond to this?

First and foremost, search your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any area where repentance is needed. For some it may be outright repentance for rejecting Jesus. For those that are being saved, perhaps it is some sin that we refuse to say “No” to. For others, maybe some hidden sin we are not aware of. Our first response is to Repent! Turn to God with your whole heart! Rend your heart before Him and allow Him to reveal what needs to be changed.

We can already hear the political rumblings that will cast the blame on politicians in the state and the nation. I exhort you to pray for our leaders and not curse them.

There are some well respected men and women who are calling for war, rallying the intercessors to wage a war in the heavens against the devil’s attack on our states roads and bridges and other works of darkness. It is possible that some are called to this; it’s not my place to decide this for others; but that is not my path, nor is it what I am called to at this time.

My heart is set to continually call out to the ONE who holds all things in HIS hands, seeking HIS heart in all things concerning our state and interceding with HIM before the Father to do whatever it takes to turn our state and our nation back to Him… whatever it takes, be it crisis or an outpouring of His Spirit, I am choosing to stand in the gap for the hearts of people who need to repent and turn to the ONLY ONE who can save, the ONLY ONE who can redeem, the ONLY ONE who can bring us into that eternal loving relationship with the Father: His name is Jesus Christ, KING of Kings and LORD of Lords, the Son of the Most High God.

May the Father grant you a greater revelation of His love through His Holy Spirit.

Note:(Later I discovered that John Piper was also brought to this passage - see his excellent article )


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