There are many of us believers who look at the Old Testament and wrinkle our noses. We somehow feel we should just study and follow Jesus’ red letter words in the four Gospels, but the Apostle Paul did not agree with that thinking.
Now these things happened as examples for us… (1 Corinthians 10:6)
With Paul’s admonition in mind, let’s look at an Old Testament example to learn more about San Francisco’s plight.
Most of us know the story of Jonah and how the rebellious prophet decided to take a hike to Spain rather than obey the Lord. His sea trip was then cut short by a storm and eventually Jonah was dumped overboard by the sailors into the raging Mediterranean Sea. There a great fish swallowed him.
Okay, what was it like inside the great fish’s stomach?
The protein-digesting enzymes, the strong hydrochloric acids, the constant muscular contortions causing the stomach to churn digested food and Jonah toward a sphincter muscle which opened into the small intestine. The smell. The insufficient oxygen. His whole body constantly being burned by acids. The never-ending churning. It had to feel like a living Hell without end for him.
In fact, Jesus Himself later compared Jonah’s seventy-two hours in the great fish’s stomach to His time in the heart of the earth or Hell.
What did Jonah probably look like when he walked through Nineveh preaching his message?
I assume Jonah obeyed the Lord and went directly to Nineveh from the Mediterranean shore. It was a five hundred mile trek through rough country and across the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.
Thus, his skin, hair, and beard most likely still had yellow acid burns coloring them. And his clothing must have been tattered, stained, bleached, filled with acid holes, and smelly. He had to look and reek like Hell.
Jonah’s message, “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed,” would have gathered him a crowd in the Assyrian capital city, but even the heathen had babbling prophets in those days. So, why did the people listen and believe his prophetic words?
Jonah’s appearance and testimony about his three days and nights in the great fish had to be a powerful sign to the people of Nineveh of God’s mercy. Who could argue with him? The people quickly believed Jonah and his prophetic words, and then repented.
Jesus also referenced Jonah’s three days and nights inside the great fish as a sign to evil and adulterous generations. The message was loud and clear for all: “Repent at hearing the words of the Lord concerning judgments for sin or be destroyed.”
On April 18, 1906, at 5:12 AM, a major earthquake struck San Francisco. A policeman who happened to be on duty said he heard a deep rumbling and looked up a hill. “The whole street was undulating. It was as if the waves of the ocean were coming toward me, and billowing as they came.” The earthquake lasted 65 t0 75 seconds.
Within seventeen minutes, fifty fires were reported in downtown San Francisco. Fire engines rushed to answer the calls, but the water mains were broken. The fires burned out of control.
Out of San Francisco’s population of 410,000, up to 75% were left homeless. Over 3,000 people died. 80% of the city was reduced to rubble by the earthquakes and fire.
At the time, San Francisco was the ninth largest city in America, and the largest city west of the Mississippi River. It’s port made it a banking, trading, and cultural center which gave it the title, “Gateway to the Pacific.”
The earthquake’s damage ended up diverting trade and population to Los Angeles which soon surpassed San Francisco as the most important and largest urban area on the West Coast.
Were there any prophetic warnings given ahead of time to San Francisco?
A woman named Ellen White may have had a vision ahead of time, but she did not publish or announce her vision until after the earthquake struck the city.
Frank Bartleman, an author and evangelist, was involved with the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles at the time the earthquake struck San Francisco. Soon after, he noticed how most preachers announced that God had nothing to do with the earthquake. Even school teachers taught their students that God was not involved in the San Francisco Earthquake.
Barthleman sought the Lord in prayer and ended up writing an Earthquake tract. In it, he explained how God was grieved with the wickedness of San Francisco and that the earthquake was a judgment for the city’s sins. The tract specifically answered the question, “Did God do that?”
Thousands of tracts were distributed to Los Angles and San Francisco. Many people repented and others were upset by them.
So, how does this all play out for today’s San Francisco?
(Continued in Part 6…if you are interested, the full series, which was written in 2012, may be seen here.)
7 responses to “Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 5)”
“There are many of us believers who look at the Old Testament and wrinkle our noses.”
Sad that this is so. We can never know God in fuller measures until we take the OT as seriously as the NT.
I agree with you. God bless you.
Thank you so much for another history lesson! Mr. Larry, do you think God always gives warnings before Something happens, to someone(s)? Just curious. God bless you!
“For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
I believe God speaks to His prophets and people tuned into hearing His voice before major calamities happen. Now, do these believers then speak to the people before major calamities hit? My simple answer is: “No. Not always.”
The reasons are varied from the fear of men on the part of the prophets to the Lord does not allow the prophets to speak.
This probably does not answer your question, but as usual, we can’t put God into a box.
I think you answered very well . . .helped me! Thank you!
Off subject here, but you seem to be knowledgeable person to ask…
I have considered publishing e-books in the past. I wonder if you would point me in the direction you went, and if you recommend it or another. I am so tech challenged, it really hurts. Simple is better for me. And anything I would publish under my pseudonym I would publish for free and not charge to read/own it.
Also, copyrights? Do you keep a sealed hard copy of your original work? How do I protect my work?
Thanx for your attention. If this discussion needs to move to the email, let me know that too.
For all eBooks, with rare exceptions, you need to use Microsoft Word for your manuscript. This is the foundational software.
Now I use Amazon exclusively because it allows me to market my eBooks and to give them away FREE at least five days per quarter. Amazon also has 60-70% of the market for eBooks. If you decide to go after the other 30% of the market, you will have to publish your manuscript at least two more times and you will lose some marketing tools, but that will be your decision.
If you are interested in Amazon, you can check it out here: https://kdp.amazon.com
They have numerous tutorial videos and if you need help editing or laying it out with the needed Microsoft tools, I can help at every stage. Just ask.
There’s no cost for publishing on Amazon and I can also help with your cover and recommend websites for photos. Just ask.
If you like, you can contact me at: email@example.com
I’m always willing to help and what I think would be interesting for you to consider is a memoir, telling about your journey. There has to be more than enough trials, which would inspire us us all.