For many years now I’ve been interested in an oft repeated verse in scripture. These verses, as you can see, have a fairly common theme. Slow to anger, compassionate, forgiving, abounding in love, forgiving, rich in love, relents from sending calamity. There’s even a part of his wrath in there in the phrase will not leave the guilty unpunished.
You also need to remember that we are made in God’s image. Since these are attributes of God that can be also human characteristics, I’ll say these verses are a way of life for us as Christians.
Here’s the verses with the context. You’ll notice they were written out of similar circumstances for the most part.
Upon giving Moses the law the 2nd time:
Exodus 34:6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
Upon Israel rebelling in the wilderness
Numbers 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’
Upon a reminder of Israel’s history.
Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them,
Upon David’s being in affliction
Psalm 86:15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Upon David’s old age
Psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Upon observing the generations and created world
Psalm 145:8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
Upon a call to repentance and warning of judgment
Joel 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Upon waiting for the destruction of Ninevah
Jonah 4:2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.
Upon the anticipated destruction of Ninevah
Nahum 1:3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
Upon Hezekiah’s call to Israel to gather to celebrate passover
2 Chronicles 30:9 For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”
I’ve never been in a flood. I’ve seen the pictures on TV, known victims, but never been right in the middle of it. It’s not an experience that I’ve ever wanted to have.
Now I have. Here’s what I learned. And here’s what you can do.
25 inches of rain is incredible. This picture is a mile from our house.
If you get a few inches of water in your house, you can salvage much, but not everything.
If you get 1-2 feet of water you’ll have to remove the drywall four feet up but no higher to satisfy FEMA. Tear up the flooring, cabinets. Anything wet, unless it’s really special, get rid of it. It’s basically a biological hazard.
You’ll probably need rescued by a boat. Walk out in the water? Maybe but don’t forget about snakes….and gators!
If you get 3 feet and above of water in your house from what I saw, after everything gets removed that needs to, you’ll have nothing left in your house but a roof and see through walls. There will be a pile on your curb that will look like this.
You’ll feel the need to protect your pile because system leeches will come by and grab stuff and pretend to FEMA that they got flooded too.
When the rain stops, your neighborhood may look like this. Which means everyone for miles and miles are impacted. This also means neighbors can’t help in your time of crisis because they’re dealing with their own crisis.
See the school bus? 100’s of our schools busses got flooded. How are kids going to get to school?
When the water goes away, those busses won’t find you at your house because you won’t be living in them.
What if their school is flooded? That happened to 7 of our schools in Baton Rouge. Some schools are sharing buildings. Some have talked of morning and afternoon shifts.
What are you going to wear to school? All of your uniform shirts and pants are gone. If you are a parent of multiple children in schools, it’s going to cost 100’s to outfit them for school again.
And even if you get all this school stuff figured out, the schools are closed. We have missed two weeks of classes now.
To outfit them you’ll have to get to the store, and get them their notebooks, paper, pencil, etc. How are you going to get there? When the boat came to get you you left your car there. It got flooded too, and almost all flooded cars are totaled by your insurance company. This is my friend and her daughter. See the water line on her car?
So I’ll have to work some overtime to pay for all of this. Work? Your workplace was flooded too. It might be months before you can go back to your job, that is if it’s still there.
You learn who your friends are. We’ve got some coworkers who’ve helped a lot. Some of them were helping others after cleaning out their own homes. e
People love to help. The church has arisen to take a prominent role in the relief and recovery effort. This was a shelter in our church and the donations that came in the first day.
I want you to understand the scope of this disaster. There are over 60,000 homes flooded. Many more businesses as well. More than 100,000 people displaced. That’s 100,000 people that need to figure out where they are going to live for the next 4-6 months. The price tag is somewhere around 20 billion, the most expensive US disaster since Sandy.
You can help too. Donate gift cards. Donate money. Pay for kids school shirts. Come to Louisiana! We’ll put you up in our house even! And feed you. Here’s a couple of places you can go to for more ideas of how to help.
Our local church: http://fbcz.org/
And I learned this verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:2