Stiff Neck Generation

Written by BG Howard

December 20, 2023

When scripting this content in September of 2017, news reports of hurricane Irma had saturated the airways for the previous seven days. Remarkably, I’d witnessed people gathering in parking lots of hardware stores at 5:30a in search of the ever-valuable emergency generators. Water, gas, and other essentials were in short supply as everybody flocked to the stores to stock up in lieu of the impending storm.

Hurricane Irma; billed as the worst in history as it passed through the Caribbean Islands and Cuba last week and into the weekend. At one point, sustained winds reached speeds of 185mph with gusts up to 225mph. It completely annihilated homes and entire communities. The hurricane, twice the size at nearly 1000 miles wide, dwarfed Andrew which ravished southern Florida in August of 1992.

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, which owns Virgin Records reportedly, rode out the storm at his island home when the hurricane passed over. What’s known as Necker Island, a private getaway for the British billionaire, was “utterly destroyed” according to him. He’d been fortunate enough to find shelter in his bunker-style wine cellar but emerged to realize the home was demolished by winds that exceeded 150mph.

More and more, I’d encountered people who expressed concern, fear, and even skepticism regarding anticipated conditions of things on the other side of the storm. Some meteorologists labeled the intense occurrence as the first “Nuclear Hurricane” in modern history. By noon Sunday, a death toll of twenty-seven included one Florida man who’d actually perished after falling from a ladder while preparing for the storm. Also, a 16-year old junior professional surfer in Barbados drowned Tuesday, September 5th trying to navigate immense swells generated by the approaching storm.

Even more interesting is the fact at the moment the world focused on the path of hurricane Irma, two others formed at virtually the same time in the W. Atlantic Basin. Hurricane Katia received very little attention as it was located in the western Gulf of Mexico and didn’t impact the U.S. mainland. A third hurricane, Jose, formed but, thankfully, took a path that carried it north of Cuba and farther east into the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, there was no loss of life or property damage sustained as the result of hurricane Jose.

An interesting dynamic became evident with opportunists seizing the chance to take advantage of the situation. One gentleman, who purchased several cases of bottled water for around four dollars each, was selling them for five times his cost. As well, another situation was reported wherein a man bought emergency generators only to sell them for twice what he’d paid.

Though many have no relationship with Jesus, it’s interesting to see how the number of individuals calling upon His name continued to increase during the inclement weather. Oddly enough, when the Lord delivers them, it usually isn’t long before they’ll revert to past behaviors and disregard Him until the next “need.” Impromptu shelters were set up at churches with civic and religious organizations distributing emergency supplies to people in need. Interestingly enough, the compassionate hearts of people gradually began to show when some took the initiative to assist those with dire needs.

Weather enthusiasts, scientists and historians alike continue to be amazed at the anomaly of the recent solar eclipse. Additionally, the unlikelihood of three simultaneous hurricanes as well as occurrences of other natural phenomena has many utterly baffled as to what’s happening with the world.

For those who believe, there is a simple explanation for events such as what’s been transpiring during recent years. Essentially, these things were foretold two thousand years ago and are more a reason for rejoicing than primal fear. It’s an accepted fact that God has destroyed the world on a previous occasion and He foretold other catastrophic events preceding Jesus’ prophesied second coming.

Acts 7:51 (KJV) declares, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” Similar to the immoral and misaligned behaviors of society during the biblical period, today’s social order has sunk to unfathomable depths. People today readily embrace everything the Word defines as unacceptable. Under the pretense of “individual freedoms,” identifying an action or personal behavior as wrong or ungodly will almost certainly result with the “accuser” ostracized, sued, or both.

It’s ironic that in a country founded upon the principles of religious freedoms, a 1962 Supreme Court decision; Engels v. Vitale, removed prayer from public schools. Beyond that fateful action, virtually all aspects of life have suffered and morality continues an uninterrupted downward spiral. For those who believe on Jesus, be watchful. Those who don’t simply need to watch out because, ready or not, He’s coming back. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.

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