The world took a collective sigh of relief this week when the last of the soccer team of 12 boys and their coach were rescued from the flooded cave network in the Chiang Rai province Thailand. As I watched the unfolding story and spoke with my 5 year old what was going on, I told my son to watch what happens when they all get out, as I was reminded of several stories form the Bible where God’s involvement in humanity rescued those in need.
- Unity of Nations and sharing of skills and experience. Psalms 133 (The Passion Translation), poetry written by the then King David reads “How truly wonderful and delightful to see brothers and sisters living together in sweet unity…For from this realm of sweet harmony, God will release his eternal blessing, the promise of life forever.” If people are in disagreement, there is some underlying issues causing strife, or jealousy abounds, it could be said that “the atmosphere could be cut with a knife.” The Bible describes this situation as like “a house divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:25 NKJV). However, the world put all differences, including political, military, social and religous, to join their collective experience and skills to devise a plan to bring the 12 boys and their coach to safety. There was no ‘jocking for front position” by any involved, including the SEAL teams from multiple countries.
- Stopping of the water filling the cave network. Josuha 3 (NKJV) is the account of the Isrealite people crossing over the Jordan River. It was understood that the time of the year this took place was when the river was in full flood. That would have made it impossible for the peopple to cross the river, not to mention getting the Ark of the Covenant and other supplies accross safely. Verse 13 of this chapter shows that, through the obendience of the poeple; following God’s directions, the moment the first foot “rested in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan were cutoff.” Other occasions are recorded throughout the Bible where God intervened in nature to save people. Most would know of the corssing of the Red Sea when the Israelites were trapped by the approaching armies, Moses followed God’s directions and the people crossed on dry land, leaving their enemy in their wake.
- One sacrifice for many. During the planning stage of the rescue, one of the Thai Navy Seals was inside the cave providing oxegyn for those trapped. His concern for the safety of them meant that his own personal supply of oxegyn was miscaculated and he did not have enough supply to return himself alive to the outside. One person sacrificing their life for the greater good is often used to refer to commemorations of military battles, or an act of a “Good Samaritan” whose selfless actions saved others but not themselves. Known as the “greatest story ever told” the climax occurs with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ dying on the cross to make it possible to save all of humanity. Not to create a religion, but to restore the connection of a relationship between God and all of humanity, Jesus’ resurrection sealed the deal.
- The monsoon rains resumed and the pump failed. The Biblical accounts described above ended with the blocked rivers flowing and the parted Red Sea resuming its natural state. It has been reported that within an hour of the 12 boys and their coach being rescued two things occured. First was the monsoon rains that would normally have been falling the duration of the resuce began to fall. Secondly, the water pump that was used to pump water from the caves failed. It had fulfilled its purpose, so the pump wasn’t a failure, it was no longer required. Whilst there were still some divers inside the cave as the waters began to rise, they had the necessary skills and equipment to safely return to the surface. One news cycle reported that the local Thai people were quoted as saying the “there’s someone looking out for them as the monsoon rains should have kept falling.”
Whatever your take on the bigger picture of the events of the past two weeks, it is clear that nature was a willing participant in timing of the rescue of all concerned. My take, as stated above is a small sample of Biblical accounts where God, who ultimately controls the weather is interested in all of humanity. Jerimiah chapter 10 vese 12-13 states how God causes the thunder and the waters to roar, the clouds rising from the earth and bringing of the winds. The account of creation in Genesis speaks of God placing the moon and the stars in their places. Science has proven that it is the moon that controls the waves.
The world can be seen to be a lonely and hateful place at times. I beleive that these events in Thailand has shown that when all of humanity puts their own desires aside to help others in need, that the world can be a better place. That in itself is the second of the two greatest commandments in the Bible, “to love your neighbour as yourself. (Matthew 22:39) NKJV)“ The other is the topic of my next post.