A Deliberate Warning

On June 20, 2013, Erika Riggs of Zillow wrote the following: One of America’s most notorious gangsters didn’t go down in a gunfight, but died of heart failure in his luxurious Miami Beach mansion.

Listed as one of America’s Most Wanted criminals, Capone had reason to add numerous guards, but the mobster also suffered from syphilis in his later years and was reportedly paranoid that he would be arrested or attacked at any moment.

He spent his final days in the guest bedroom in the front of the house where he could always see who was coming and going.

In Proverbs 1, the writer spoke of a warning from God toward those who delight in mockery and hate knowledge by using storms to bring the warning. It’s a warning that comes out of concern.

He said, “How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simple-minded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
How long will you fools hate knowledge? Come and listen to my counsel.
 I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise. “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention. You ignored my advice 
and rejected the correction I offered. So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
and anguish and distress overwhelm you. But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:22-27, 31 NLT

The Cross of Christ certainly expresses God’s ultimate love for everyone—even Al Capone. Yet, God’s love also uses storms to warn anyone of the impending danger of foolishness when mocking Him.

Psalm 107 is another example where God uses storms to bring mankind to himself.

Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world. They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas. He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves. Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror. “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper 
and stilled the waves. Let them praise the Lord for his great love 
and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Psalm 107:23-26; 28-29; 31 NLT

God always responds to a “Lord, help!” when we’re in the storm. That’s not a Co-Dependency but a dependency on the only one who can be depended upon, when we’re overwhelmed by storms. Sadly, that didn’t seem to happen for a man like Al Capone.

Like a sailor cringing in terror as he goes down to the deep and calls for a rescue that only God can do, storms from Him can be a Disruptive Love, a Discipline Lesson and a Deliberate Warning. I believe that and have experienced it.

In hindsight, I’m grateful for storms serving as a compass to send me in the right direction—toward HIM!

4 thoughts on “A Deliberate Warning

  1. Thank you Joe for your good thoughts. Carla, I liked the way you put how sometimes it feels like we’re trying to hold a hurricane back with a feather. Both you and Joe are right. Seeking shelter is the best thing – trusting God. BTW Carla, who knows, Judy and I might see you and Bruce again before we get to the other side. 🙂

  2. Storms tend to cause a very emotional internal environment. Some are thrilled by the storm others hide in fear. Storms take away all the non sense associated with a controlled life. Storms come and go without warning. We can only seek shelter.

    1. Well said Joe. Hmmm, the “controlled life,” the life I keep trying to live, in the midst of a storm that is like a feather holding back a hurricane. Seeking shelter is indeed our only hope.

      Thanks Jerry for another thought-provoking post. Thinking of you as you and Judy have pulled up stakes and are in the midst of resettling. See you on the other side where there are no more storms.