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It was before the days of radio, and weather forecasting was scarce and not very accurate. Captain Oldrey was commander of the Hyacinth, heading for the Barbados. While admiring the beauty of the evening, he commented that it was the finest weather he had witnessed in that climate.
The horizon was perfectly clear; not a cloud filled the sky. Nothing observable on deck suggested the weather would change.
Going below to his cabin, the captain lounged on a sofa. A minute or two later, glancing at a barometer suspended nearby, he observed the mercury falling.
While resting he wouldn’t ordinarily have thought of consulting the instrument. He rubbed his eyes, imagining he was deceived. Still the mercury fell. He rose from the sofa and, approaching the instrument, discovered that the mercury was visibly falling.
He went back on deck but the weather was as lovely as before. Going back to his quarters, he shook the instrument. Still the descent continued. Such a rapid and unparalleled fall convinced him that something was about to happen.
He told the first lieutenant and master. They protested that no storm could be likely, with sea and sky so clear and beautiful.
The captain disagreed. The falling of the barometer indicated a storm, and it was his duty to urgently prepare for one. He ordered everything to be instantly made snug, the topmasts to be struck, and all to be cleared or secured on deck.
Night had closed in by the time operations on board ship were about completed. Captain Oldrey didn’t relax until all preparation for the worst was accomplished to his satisfaction. An hour or two elapsed, and his mind was at rest knowing that his ship was as ready as possible for whatever might come.
Suddenly he had proof of the value of the barometric warning. The storm struck and reached its peak almost at once. The wind blew with a fury so great that the sea could not rise into waves, but became one vast plain of foam, on which the ship lay driven furiously on. By God’s mercy, they survived.
The Holy Scriptures are the barometer which warns of a coming storm. That storm of God’s wrath and judgment is soon to be loosed on this world.
Scoffers scoff and mockers mock! They say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:4). To them the sky is clear; there’s no storm coming. All will go on as it has gone on. They have no fear. They close their eyes to the knowledge of the many upheavals which the earth has experienced. They don’t hear the voice of the deluge which once overwhelmed the world. They harden their hearts and, in their folly, go on, themselves deceived and deceiving others.
But God’s barometer gives plain warning. Hear its solemn declaration: “Because there is wrath, beware lest He take thee away with His stroke” (Job 36:18).
Now is your time to escape. Now is your only time to prepare. Tomorrow may be too late.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5:6).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
“Whoso putteth His trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).