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According to experts, the lack of rain in California is a very serious matter. They say unless rain comes soon, not only will millions of people be forced to leave the state, the rest of the country will suffer because California grows so much of the food we eat. Far be it for me to say that God is permitting this particular drought because people have displeased Him. Yet we know from biblical history that God sometimes uses weather to get our attention. One biblical text is in the book of Hosea. We find there that God had repeatedly called His people to repent of their sins and worship Him, but they ignored His warnings. God finally sent a message to the people through Hosea. He warned them, “Nettles will take over your treasures of silver; thistles will invade your ruined homes. The time of Israel’s punishment has come; the day of payment is here.” Of course, we know God may use difficulties to refine our character, to shape us for His purposes. On the other hand, some people fail to realize that consequences follow rebellion and ingratitude toward God—just as certainly as night follows day. God often uses difficulties to alert us that we have gone wrong, but then it is up to us to take heed, repent, and change our ways.

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