Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 19, 2014

Tree Accident

TreeHitHut

While camping in a state park last weekend we encountered the scene above.

FallenTree

A huge ash tree, almost three feet in diameter, had fallen on a brand new outhouse and badly damaged it.

Side view of the damaged outhouse

Side view of the damaged outhouse

Back view of the damaged outhouse

Back view of the damaged outhouse

We hoped no one had been in the outhouse at the time. What a shock that would have been!

TreeOnHut

At first I thought the tree had fallen in a recent storm, but further investigation indicated the tree had been intentionally cut down as shown by the above picture. From where the wedge was cut out of the trunk and from where the wedge was lying on the ground, I could tell that the logger had intended to drop the tree due south. Instead it fell due north. The tree fell in the exact opposite direction from what the logger had intended.

We wondered if any loggers had been injured in the mishap. The vegetation was fairly dense, and it could have been difficult to avoid a falling tree, especially when falling in an unexpected direction.

Stump

Here is the 31-inch diameter stump of the felled ash tree. Notice the quarter placed for scale in the 5 o’clock position on the stump .

Woodpile

Salvageable firewood lay around in abundance. I spent the better part of a day collecting limbs and cutting them up. It was chilly (in the 20s), but the work kept me warm. This picture shows about 2/3 of the wood we collected, as we had already been burned some, and some was stacked elsewhere. Notice the light-colored piece on the right; that’s the large wedge the logger cut out to fell the ash tee.

WoodpileBSG

Here I am standing beside my treasure of firewood and holding my trusty battery-powered yellow sawzall. It was an invaluable tool in collecting and cutting up the wood.

Tower of Siloam

I imagined what the crashing down of the huge ash tree would have been like as it hit the outhouse and brought down many adjacent saplings. It reminded me of a catastrophic fall in the Bible, the fall of the Tower of Siloam in which 18 people were killed. The Tower of Siloam was probably a tower of Jerusalem’s city wall that was located near the pool of Siloam.

Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)

What does Jesus expect us to think when catastrophe strikes?
– Is it because of sin in the victims’ lives? Not necessarily.
– Is it because one person is worse than another? Not necessarily.

According to Jesus, tragedy should remind us of the need for repentance. Tragedy will eventually strike everybody — unless they repent. Every tragedy should point men to Jesus of Nazareth, the Savior who alone can rescue men from the tragedy of hell.

What about the huge ash tree hitting the outhouse? Was anybody hurt? I talked to a park ranger the next day. He confirmed that the tree was “supposed to” fall the other way. Another ranger had undertaken the project by himself, contrary to policy; they are supposed to work in teams for safety. He had taken some shortcuts and misfelled the tree. By God’s mercy, no one was injured.

Questions to Ponder
  1. How do you respond to tragedy? Do you blame others, God, or yourself? Or do you turn to God in repentance and faith?
  2. What examples have you seen where someone responded properly to tragedy? How did this encourage you?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the sequel:
Broken Outhouse, Broken World

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday November 19, 2014 A.D.

Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)

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