God Speaks From Above

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 12
The explosion of a meteor over the Ural region of Russia on February 15, 2013, has left an already troubled world somewhat stunned. Many who witnessed it were terrified and screamed that it was “the end of the world.” The huge mass, estimated at more than 10,000 tons, entered the earth’s atmosphere about 1,000 miles east of Moscow, burst into a fireball, and then released a wave of energy that was 30 times as potent as the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. At the time of the writing of this article, they have yet to recover any fragment of the original meteor, but the explosion, which took place at an altitude of 15-30 miles, caused a shock wave that smashed thousands of windows in Chelyabinsk and other nearby cities and injured more than 1,200 people. In addition, a large hole was blown in the ice of Lake Chebarkul, presumably by fragments and debris from the meteor.
Coupled with this event, on the same date a large asteroid streaked past the earth, closer than any asteroid that has ever been seen and recorded in recent years. While it missed the earth by more than 17,000 miles and its size (estimated at 50 meters across) was small, nevertheless the fact that it came so close to the earth and on the same day as the meteor event occurred in Russia has caused widespread concern.
Asteroids and Meteoroids
Asteroids are small rocky bits of debris in space, smaller than a planet, and which usually orbit around the sun. Meteoroids are smaller pieces of debris that usually originate from an asteroid or comet and which also orbit around the sun. When a meteoroid enters the earth’s atmosphere, it is termed a meteor, and if a fragment actually survives the fall through the atmosphere and strikes the earth, it is then called a meteorite.
Most meteors disintegrate as they come through the earth’s atmosphere, forming a streak of light or fireball, commonly called a “shooting star.”
Large meteors have exploded over the earth before, and many smaller ones have struck the earth as meteorites, sometimes causing damage. In particular, a very large meteor exploded over the Tunguska river area in Siberia back in 1908. Although no injuries were reported, the event sparked enough energy to level about 800 square miles of forest. Smaller events have occurred at other times in various parts of the world, and falling debris has occasionally injured people
Significant Events
What makes the events of February 15, 2013, so significant is twofold. First of all, there is the fact that two very unusual events from outer space occurred within hours of each other. Second, this is the first time that damage on a large scale has been done in a populated area and a large number of people injured. To be sure, the area was not heavily populated, and we shudder to think of what could have happened had the event occurred around a large city such as New York, U.S.A., Mumbai, India, or Tokyo, Japan. However, the injuries and damage (estimated at 33 million dollars) are certainly enough to cause real alarm. Moreover, it raises the awareness of the possibility of a future catastrophic event.
Surely all this has significance for this world and for us as believers. While such events have occurred before and thus can be passed off as merely coincidental, it is evident that the Lord is speaking to this world. Events originating within our world and its atmosphere, such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, hurricanes and tsunamis, are bad enough, and man cannot control them. However, phenomena from outer space are totally outside man’s realm and have a special significance. They are meant to be taken seriously.
The Lord has spoken rather loudly to this world in the past few years with serious natural disasters, as well as man-made tragedies such as that of September 11, 2001. As we have pointed out in previous articles in The Christian, these are intended to shake man up and to make him realize that judgment is coming on this world. The events occurring on February 15, 2013, surely ought to have the same impact.
Future Events
During the awful time after believers are called home and the Lord comes, God will begin to deal with this world, and among other events, we read that “there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars  ...  for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:25-2625And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (Luke 21:25‑26)). While more than one meaning can be taken from these words, surely it is not going beyond Scripture to suggest that some of these signs may originate in outer space. We are reminded in Hebrews 12:2626Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (Hebrews 12:26) that the Lord says, “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” All that is not according to God’s mind will be shaken, and to the end that “the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Isa. 2:1111The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. (Isaiah 2:11)). God is now giving man a small taste of what is ahead, in order that he may be warned to “flee from the wrath to come.” As Elihu could remind Job, man needs to “hear attentively the roar of His voice” (Job 37:22Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. (Job 37:2) JND).
For us as believers, we need not be alarmed at these things, although we should be concerned and burdened for a lost (and increasingly rebellious!) world. We know and belong to the One who created all things “that are in heaven, and that are in earth” (Col. 1:1616For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16)), and the One by whom “all things subsist together” (Col. 1:1717And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:17) JND). Not a single event can occur without His allowing it. The universe is not out of control, as some would say, nor is it at the mercy of demonic forces. The One who “made the worlds” is also “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:2-32Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:2‑3)), and He is working “all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:1111In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11)). His hand is directing it all, in order that eventually all things, both in heaven and in earth, may be gathered together in Christ.
W. J. Prost