What's Going on in Oklahoma ?
We've had a remarkable year for the occurrence of natural disasters. It is amazing how many records were set in just the past eleven months. If the world lasts another decade, any flood, tornado, or earthquake event in the U.S. will have to use the year 2011 to judge its historic significance.
The most striking headlines that I keep seeing are the ones that read "hundred-year" flood, tornado, or earthquake. I've even seen some events given the title "five-hundred-year." If the cycle is one hundred or five hundred years, it makes me wonder why they keep happening every year. I remember the great flood of 1993 was given the title of "one hundred-year flood." Now, eighteen years later, we have another flood that is eight decades too early.
Last week, Oklahoma was struck by a large earthquake. The 5.6 trembler was centered near the town of Sparks, and it sent out shockwaves that were felt as far away as Wisconsin. This was the most powerful quake in the state's history. The previous record was a 5.5 magnitude earthquake that struck near the town of El Reno in 1952.
Oklahoma is not known as a geologically active state. It typically only had about fifty earthquakes a year until 2009. In the past three years, the number of quakes has dramatically spiked, with 1,047 quakes shaking the state last year. The increase has prompted researchers to install seismographs in the area
Most snow - In February, a snowstorm dumped 11.8 inches on Oklahoma City and 13.2 inches in Tulsa, shattering the all-time daily snowfall records for February in both cities.
Coldest temperature - The Oklahoma Mesonet weather station at Nowata reached -31° F on February 10. The low set a record for the whole state.
Tornadoes - April had more tornadoes than in any previous year. This is a remarkable record for a state that is in the bull's eye of tornado alley.
Highest wind - In May, Doppler radar detected the highest wind speeds ever recorded in Oklahoma. An EF5 tornado was found to have winds of 318 miles per hour.
Hailstones - On May 23, a supercell thunderstorm in Kiowa County produced a record hailstone that measured six inches in diameter.
Record heat - Oklahoma City had the hottest average temperature summer on record (June thru August) - 87.5 (2011). The previous record was 85.9° set in 1934.
Drought - Year-to-date, Oklahoma has had its driest year since 1921I don't think the people of the Sooner State have done anything special to invoke God's wrath. After all, the weather has been perfect out in San Francisco. You would think the Lord would cause the so-called gay capital of America to slide into the ocean before He would go after a Bible-belt state like Oklahoma.
There may actually be a divine connection to all the natural disasters taking place in Oklahoma. Rather than being a form of judgment, the events of this year may be part of God's end-time warning plan. Jesus said the sign of the Tribulation hour's nearness would be an increase in calamities. He said these birth pangs would lead right up to the very end.
What is remarkable is that few people are asking the question, "What is going on in Oklahoma and other parts of the world?" Earlier this year, Japan was hit by the largest earthquake in recorded history. Here in Arkansas, we had the most powerful earthquake in thirty-six years. In August, a 5.8 quake rocked the East Coast of America. Forget about prophecy; I don't even see people looking for natural reasons to explain why we are having so many quakes.
Jesus warned that there would a profound state of apathy about end-time signs right ahead of His return. The profound lack of attention to these warning events would seem to indicate that we are at the saturation point of apathy, and that the Rapture must be very near.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44).
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness" (2 Peter 3:10-11).