The explosion itself was terrific. A monstrous thing but still attracts along procession of superlatives. It was the greatest detonation, the most devastating volcanic event in modern recorded human history. 13% of the earths surface vibrated audibly and millions of people who live there heard it and went and told what they had heard they were amazed. It was the volcanic explosion of an island in Indonesia called Krakatoa. The soundwaves of the blast traveled around the world seven times. The ash and debris blown into the atmosphere change the climate of the world for a decade. It changed the appearance of the entire world’s sky. It panic firefighters in United States, thousands of miles away, into battling what they thought were
raging inferno’s, but were in truth violent sunsets caused by the rolling clouds of Krakatoan dust.
The earth shaking events of August 27, 1883 had more than just effects on the physical environment, they began at worldwide movement that brought about the rise of militant Islam in Indonesia.
Simon Winchester has written a great book about this and what you have just read is gleaned from this best seller. Winchester shows how the mullahs in Yemen and Saudi Arabia used the cataclysm to rouse people to believe that the Islamic messiah, the Mahdi would appear and that all Muslims should go on jihad. Sound familiar?
Christians down through the ages have seen cataclysms in the same light. They may be showing that our Messiah is coming again and that we should prepare. Earth shaking events have always had that effect and yet the world seems to be coming unglued today as never before. Catastrophes on the earth mirror that catastrophe that came about because of sin and our slavery to it.
“The evidences of this slavery we have all about us. No harvest ever produces fully; there is always some apple that contains a worm. Now, creation is waiting for the time when it will no longer be cramped by being bound to man’s rebellion against God. It expects to be set free in order to become what it was once created to be. That will take place when God finally liberates us from the trammels of our present existence. All of creation is bound together that closely. All of it groans together, as we do, waiting for what God has in mind”. – Martin Scharlemann