DID YOU WATCH the footage of the explosion a couple days ago in Beirut? Google it if you haven’t. It is surreal. It was massive, and terribly sad. They say 135 deaths so far, with upwards of 5,000 wounded—but I think surely the death toll is higher. The moment I saw the explosion, I immediately thought it was an atomic weapon. It leveled buildings almost a kilometer away.
But no, it was apparently just an explosion of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in the processing of fertilizer and sometimes TNT stored in a warehouse downtown for several years. It was there due to government incompetence (no one in office thought, “Hey, maybe this stuff shouldn’t be stored in such a densely populated area). That’s “the government” for you. (Looking at you, all you “big government” people.) But I digress. Back to bombs.
As a point of reference (after you watch the video) that explosion two days ago in Beirut is estimated at 1.98 kilotons (the equivalent of 1,980 tons of TNT). In other words, that’s what it looks like when a 2 kiloton bomb detonates.
The bomb we dropped over Nagasaki in 1945 was 21 kilotons. So the disaster in Beirut was only a 10th of the size of that. The death toll from the Nagasaki detonation is estimated between 39,000 and 80,000.
But that bomb was comparatively tiny. The largest bomb [we know about] in the U.S. arsenal (maybe Russia has something bigger) is the B83, which clocks in at 1,200 MEGATONS, or 1,200,000 kilotons. Using Beirut and Nagasaki as a reference point, I still can’t even wrap my mind around that.
And between the US, Russia, China, India, France, the UK, and a handful of other countries (including North Korea (!) now), there are thousands upon thousands of these weapons. World governments are in charge of their handling—governments with the same wisdom and efficiency as the Lebanese government.
It’s just a reminder of the fact that the life as we know it could end at any moment. A drunk driver could veer into your lane. It could be a microscopic virus that turns your year upside down. A glitch in an aging early-warning system built in the 70’s in a former Soviet Union state might cause an official to accidentally press a button, igniting a thermo-nuclear war and destroying the earth’s ecosystem as we know it.
Safety is a mirage. And many of us have turned the illusion of safety into an idol.
What you need to be is a Christian. Because thankfully, this volatile world which could blow up an any moment doesn’t have to be all there is for you. Ben Giselbach – East Side church of Christ, Cleveland, TN
“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!” – Mike