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Judging U.S. States

Q. Does God judge individual states like California? The fires around California are bad enough. But, then I saw in the news that there are strange hot spots in Southern California that reached over 800 degrees. A geologist said this is really strange and he had no explanation for it. It even burned the shoes of those standing in it.


God's sovereignty over men and nations, collective states, countries, churches, synagogues, mosques and other groups is not under dispute according to the Scriptures.

God's Sovereignty not under Dispute

From Genesis to Revelation the Bible consistently teaches that prayer, repentance, humility, and faith affect our relationship with God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 sheds light on God's sovereignty:

"If my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (NASB).

Acts 17:26 also clarifies that God …"made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him" (ESV).

God's Actions Depend upon Man's Response

God's actions always depend upon man's response to His Word. God's promises and threats are always conditioned upon man's actions. While God never changes (see Num 23:19. Mal 3:6,&James 1:17), His actions for or against groups of people depends upon their behaviors.

Jeremiah's Warnings

Perhaps the most striking indication of God's interaction with nations today may be found in the book of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 18:5-11 reveals that "At one moment I (God) might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it. If that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it. If it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it."

Forest Fires

Finally, one of the most shocking verses to Californians might be from Jeremiah 21:14:

"'But I shall punish you
according to the
results of your deeds,'
declares the LORD,
'And I shall kindle a fire
in its forest
That it may devour all its


We Are Not Exempt

Since we, too, live just above the fires raging in California we are not exempt from possible pain and loss either. What I do know is that after the Lord told Jeremiah that "I am about to bring My words on this city for disaster and not for prosperity"…the Lord also comforted Jeremiah with these words,

"'For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword, but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,' declares the LORD" (Jer 39:16, 18).


Source Cited:

Southern California hot spot hits 812 degrees, baffles experts. FOX News. Wednesday, August 06, 2008. Available from:

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