War in the Middle East!
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry once again. As we are on the verge of eternity, we are seeing unprecedented events in our world that tell us that Jesus’ return is very near. The war in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas was not by chance. The tensions between the two sides have gone back for centuries, in fact for millennia. But Satan is manipulating the whole world into his deceptions. So, as we begin let us pray.
Our Father in heaven, we are grateful for your love. We’re so thankful for your forgiveness of our sins. And now as we near the end of time we pray that you will purify us and make us what you want us to be. This world is in dire straits. It can’t last much longer. But it will last by your strength as you uphold the nations. But you will not do that forever. You want to redeem your people and take them to heaven and give them the joys of the New Jerusalem. But you’re also long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth and you do not want to see anyone lost. So, help us endure to the end. Be with us today as we study. Show us great and mighty things from your word. In Jesus name, amen.
The Bible predicts that the day is coming when there will be no more war or bloodshed. It will be a time of absolute peace. I look forward to that day, don’t you? Listen to this statement from the prophet Micah who describes the future of peace in chapter 4:3.
“And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
But unfortunately, while we are still on this earth war will plague us. In fact, the Bible predicts that war will be with us till Jesus comes and puts an end to it. After all, Satan is at war with Christ. And everything that he does is with that in view. And while he continues to live, he will work for the destruction of human beings. He hates humanity, because Christ created them. And he particularly hates those who are God’s people. He is even hostile to those who were once the chosen people of God, even though there is no significance to this fact today. His rage knows no end and he will do despicable things whenever heaven allows him to, for he is a raging lion seeking whom he may devour.
This statement from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, page 11 describes his attitude very well.
“The condition of things in the world shows that troublous times are right upon us. The daily papers are full of indications of a terrible conflict in the near future. Bold robberies are of frequent occurrence. Strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand. Men possessed of demons are taking the lives of men, women, and little children. Men have become infatuated with vice, and every species of evil prevails.”
But Satan’s war making goes beyond a few nations. He wants to involve the whole world in a conflict that will send as many souls as possible to Christ less graves. Listen to this statement from Great Controversy, page 589.
“Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.”
And not only does he divert the minds of the nations involved away from preparation to stand in the day of God, he gets the news media to report on the bloodshed and gets the nations to watch and take sides and join political parties for or against one side or the other based on their perspective. War has nothing good to provide humanity. It is all evil, and all sides are involved in the evil.
Rulers have the mind of beasts and their subjects copy them. They treat other races and nationalities with brutal and ruthless conduct. The Babylonians were this way. Nebuchadnezzar actually lost his human mind and God gave him a beast’s mind. And he acted like a beast, even eating grass. Rulers who act this way have been ruling over humanity for centuries. One of the worst was the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. But he was by no means the only one.
Down through the centuries God allowed one nation after another to rule the world. Papal Rome was just as ruthless as any. The sadistic inquisition is an example of Rome’s beastly mind. Revelation even describes Rome as a beast. Let’s turn to Revelation 13:1-4.
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
The way Bible prophecy describes this beast is nothing short of the ruthlessness and evil of Satan in human form. The prophet Daniel also describes this beast in Daniel 7:7, 8.
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
In these verses, the beast is described as trampling on people everywhere and blasphemed God and spoke great things against God. Nothing is more blasphemous than trampling on the law of God and boasting about it. That beast is at war with God in the name of religion, and in the name of God. And Satan will use it to persecute God’s people. But it will not be without the cooperation of the nations.
And Jesus predicted war and chaos at the end of time. In Luke 21:25, He predicted that there would be many confusing and perplexing things happening.
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
And today, this prophecy is accurately being fulfilled. Listen to this statement from Education, page 179.
“The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place—that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.”
And truly the world is on the verge of a bloody and deadly crisis. Astute men and women realize that certain events are taking this world down into chaos and confusion. And they’re watching anxiously for what is going to happen next. It is only a matter of time until society breaks down and descends into a bloodbath. In fact, Revelation predicts this. Turn with me to Revelation 14:20.
“And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”
The war between Israel and Hamas is just that type a war on a small scale. And people who know nothing of the motivations and reasons why the war is happening make strong statements and defend one side or another. My guess is that both sides, and all sides, are involved in deception. Only the word of God gives us the truth. You cannot rely on the news media. You cannot rely on official pronouncements. You cannot rely on government leaders for they will inflame the war. Why do you think that is? It is because they have a vested interest in the money that is gained by war. How is that, you say? Companies that make implements and munitions of war make a lot of money when there is a war. And people that invest in those companies also make a lot of money. So, war, and bloodshed, are in their best interests. Satan knows this and makes them very rich so that they will promote war.
So, because of the love of money, much misery and death come to the planet. And the consequences of war just keep getting bigger and bigger. More and more people are swept up in it and endure great loss and painful stress and suffering as a result. And at the end of time war will rage. In fact, it will probably get big enough to involve the whole world; at least most of the countries in the world will likely be involved in it. Listen to this statement from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, page 268.
“I was shown the inhabitants of the earth in the utmost confusion. War, bloodshed, privation, want, famine, and pestilence were abroad in the land. As these things surrounded God’s people, they began to press together, and to cast aside their little difficulties. Self-dignity no longer controlled them; deep humility took its place. Suffering, perplexity, and privation caused reason to resume its throne, and the passionate and unreasonable man became sane, and acted with discretion and wisdom.”
Does God allow war and these other stresses so that His people can put aside their little difficulties? Probably. Notice also that war was abroad in the land. Only the protection of God will preserve God’s people. I’ll read the next paragraph from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, page 268.
“My attention was then called from the scene. There seemed to be a little time of peace. Once more the inhabitants of the earth were presented before me; and again everything was in the utmost confusion. Strife, war, and bloodshed, with famine and pestilence, raged everywhere. Other nations were engaged in this war and confusion. War caused famine. Want and bloodshed caused pestilence. And then men’s hearts failed them for fear, “and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.”
It would be nice to have a world of peace. But I don’t think from here on out there is going to be much peace. Nobody likes the brutality of war. People are displaced. Their lives are turned upside down. There is pain, injuries, and death. There is sorrow that no man can heal. And war is not just a phenomenon that just happens. Nor is it just from ambitious nations that want to gain more territory. Hostilities between countries happen when competing interests of various nations clash with each other. But more diabolically, war is instigated by rulers who have vested interests in their own wealth or power. They are heedless of the humanitarian effect of war. Oh, they give lip service to it. And they even support sending humanitarian aid to help. But they are involved in making war happen.
At 6:00 in the morning on October 7 Israel was relatively quiet. But already in Gaza Hamas was actively involved in preparations for a ruthless and brutal attack on Israel that morning. At 6:30 some 1500 armed men tore down parts of the Gaza security fence using tractors, loaders, and explosives and invaded southern Israel. Simultaneously, Hamas fired thousands of rockets toward Israel from inside Gaza. They used vehicles, motorized paragliders, and some were on foot, to attack 20 communities inside Israel. Others attempted to invade through the sea, aiming for Israel’s Zikim beach. The attack force then split up, and made their way to around 20 towns and villages, and IDF bases and begin the killing spree. They shot everything in sight.
They acted like savage beasts. They broke into people’s homes, kidnapping, shooting, burning, raping and beheading them. They indiscriminately gunned down fleeing young people. They killed children in front of their parents, and parents in front of their children. They burned whole families alive in their homes. They cut babies out of the bellies of pregnant mothers, beheaded infants, and committed other sickening atrocities. Then they boasted of the inhuman behavior by uploading graphic videos on social media, and spread them as far and wide as possible.
Some Hamas fighters drove to the Nova music festival which took place in an open area. Partygoers were having the last few moments of dancing as the sirens started to warn of rockets. As they attempted to evacuate suddenly Hamas fighters fired indiscriminately at the hundreds of civilians. Many of them were shot in the back as they fled. They raped young women, brutalized bodies; they burned people alive in their cars, some unrecognizably, and abducted many. 260 bodies were found in the area of the festival, most of them young men and women. The carnage and terror were horrific.
Though IDF forces tried to neutralize Hamas and thwart their infiltration. Hamas ambushed IDF bases, killing soldiers and hurling grenades and explosives. IDF field observers used a sniper sighting system, tanks fired shells, and combat helicopters and special forces were deployed to the many locations of attack. But it was not without difficulty that Hamas could be put down.
More civilians were lost during the prolonged, bloody battles to regain control of the towns and bases surrounding Gaza, clear them from Hamas and rescue as many hostages held in Israeli territory as possible. When the IDF forces were finally able to regain control of the towns, they were faced with grotesque sights of pure violence that Hamas left behind.
The Hamas fighters were drugged up with the amphetamine Captagon, known as “cocaine for the poor” to give them courage. Under the influence of drugs these people became more demonic than ever, for they were controlled and inspired by Satan.
This nightmare foreshadows the unprecedented suffering prophesied to come upon the whole world very soon. And it should arrest the attention of God’s people especially. It is a dramatic warning of just how deadly and devastating are the events that are about to engulf all of our lives. Without God’s protection there is no hope. But with it, there is triumph and victory in Christ.
The unspeakable carnage was met with retaliation. Israel now had an excuse to invade Gaza to destroy Hamas and bring unspeakable pain and distress upon the civilians of Gaza. Gaza was relentlessly bombarded with bombs and missiles from the air. Hamas was imbedded throughout Gaza among the civilians. Thus, many civilians lost their lives in the onslaught.
Food and water could not get into Gaza. And relief was also excluded for a while. The people were told to flee to the South to avoid the destruction that was going to come in the north. Masses of people began to head South. When the bombs and missiles were again launched. Gaza City was essentially destroyed. Then the Israelis told the people to flee to the north because they were going to destroy the South part of the Gaza Strip. The civilians of Gaza were the meat in the sandwich and had nowhere to go that was safe. And when it was all over, they would be without homes or anything useful.
As Hamas was firing missiles toward Israel, they flew over a hospital in Gaza. One missile misfired and destroyed the parking lot of the hospital and apparently some of the hospital as well. Hamas blamed it on Israel.
Hamas operated in tunnels under the buildings in Gaza. Israeli forces invaded Gaza on the ground and searched for the tunnels in order to find hostages and to neutralize or destroy Hamas. Israel wants to destroy Hamas’s capability to attack Israel in any way. Meanwhile, it is bombing and destroying Gaza back to the dark ages and causing enormous suffering and death.
Keep in mind, the Israelis and Palestinians are ancient enemies. There have been so many offences on both sides that reconciliation is hopeless. And Satan keeps them inflamed. There will never be peace between Israel and its natural enemies in the Middle East. When you think about it, these enemies arose because Israel disobeyed God. Listen to this from Patriarchs and Prophets page 521.
“The people in general were slow to complete the work of driving out the heathen. The tribes had dispersed to their possessions, the army had disbanded, and it was looked upon as a difficult and doubtful undertaking to renew the war.”
The intermittent vexation of the Philistines toward Israel was a result of the laziness and indolence of Israel when they first came into Canaan. Yes, they put out many of the heathen people among the Canaanites, but they didn’t evict them all. And because of the sins of Israel, these enemies continued to rise and wane according to Israel’s relationship with God. Often these enemies allied themselves with other nations to inflict pain upon Israel. They were used by God as judgments for Israel’s sin.
The judgments of God will target the wicked. Listen to this statement from Prophets and Kings, page 278.
“God’s message for the inhabitants of earth today is, “Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:44. The conditions prevailing in society, and especially in the great cities of the nations, proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God’s judgment is come and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another—fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent.
“‘Behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.’ Isaiah 26:21. The storm of God’s wrath is gathering; and those only will stand who respond to the invitations of mercy, as did the inhabitants of Nineveh under the preaching of Jonah, and become sanctified through obedience to the laws of the divine Ruler. The righteous alone shall be hid with Christ in God till the desolation be overpast.”
As bad as the war is in Gaza, and as bad as the attack on Israel was, that is nothing compared to what will happen when the restraining hand of God will be withdrawn from the earth. It is only a glimpse of what’s in store for the whole world, a foretaste of what is to come. It is the future; violence, bloodshed and death. Here is an interesting statement from Last Day Events, page 238.
“Four mighty angels hold back the powers of this earth till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The nations of the world are eager for conflict; but they are held in check by the angels. When this restraining power is removed, there will come a time of trouble and anguish. Deadly instruments of warfare will be invented. Vessels, with their living cargo, will be entombed in the great deep. All who have not the spirit of truth will unite under the leadership of satanic agencies. But they are to be kept under control till the time shall come for the great battle of Armageddon.”
Men have already invented deadly weapons of war. The technology is already available to destroy the whole world by nuclear weapons. Whole cities can be wiped off the map with a suitcase nuclear bomb. God’s people should be preparing for the time of trouble before it gets here. Those who neglect to do so will be caught up in the maelstrom of general war and will not be protected by the angels of God. The cities will be the targets of war and destruction. The cities are death traps. They will be the first to be attacked because of the large populations and it is easy to maximize damage. And it will cause great suffering to people living in the cities. Just look at the way the people of Gaza are made to suffer. The war between Israel and the great Philistine city of Gaza is only a faint symbol of the destruction and the suffering that will be brought upon the great cities of the world in the near future.
Evil spirits consult together on how to best create maximum suffering among humanity. And they are able to create some of the worst atrocities and devastation when the angels of God pull back. The American Civil War had a significant impact upon the nation. We are told about the spirits of devils were guiding the generals in the war. No doubt, they are still doing this today. The description, in Testimonies for the Church, Vol 1, pages 363 and 364 explain how the enemy works to deceive men and lead them to destruction.
“Very many men in authority, generals and officers, act in conformity with instructions communicated by spirits. The spirits of devils, professing to be dead warriors and skillful generals, communicate with men in authority and control many of their movements. One general has directions from these spirits to make special moves and is flattered with the hope of success. Another receives directions which differ widely from those given to the first. Sometimes those who follow the directions given obtain a victory, but more frequently they meet with defeat.
“The spirits sometimes give these leading men an account of events to transpire in battles in which they are about to engage, and of individuals who will fall in the battle. Sometimes it is found to be as these spirits foretold, and this strengthens the faith of the believers in spiritual manifestations. And again it is found that correct information has not been given, but the deceiving spirits make some explanation, which is received. The deception upon minds is so great that many fail to perceive the lying spirits which are leading them on to certain destruction…
“Satan has, through his angels, communicated with officers who were cool, calculating men when left to themselves, and they have given up their own judgment and have been led by these lying spirits into very difficult places, where they have been repulsed with dreadful slaughter. It suits his Satanic majesty well to see slaughter and carnage upon the earth…”
Jesus spoke about a great tribulation in Matthew 24:15-20.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
The abomination of desolation is the Sunday law. When this happens, we can know that the next event to take place will be unimaginable distress and suffering on the people of the world. God’s people will also be affected, because they will be blamed for the suffering. The great tribulation or time of trouble will be an expression of the devil’s great wrath, because he knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12). God will not allow him to continue his evil and brutal reign much longer.
Man’s capacity for evil has been fully exposed in the Jewish towns bordering Gaza. But that spirit of evil exists far beyond Gaza. The October 7 tragedy in Israel was just a sip of a bitter, bitter cup. Events are going to get far worse.
Why did God allow such a thing to happen? God is appalled by such violence. He is a God of love. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to eternal life. Listen to 1 Timothy 2:3-4.
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Ezekiel 33:11 says that God has no pleasure in the death of even the wicked. Listen to it.
“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
By allowing these demonic thugs to infiltrate the Jewish state, God is showing us the true nature of the hatred and evil that exists in Satan’s world. And He is showing us that we need His protection. But He is also demonstrating that Israel no longer has His protection. Why? Because of their rejection of Christ and the truth. He is also appealing to Jews to turn back to him and warning the rest of the world that if they persist in their rebellion to God they will experience similar destruction.
He warns us in Leviticus 26:16, 17 of the consequences of rebellion to God’s commandments.
“I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.”
Will Israel’s retaliation against Hamas really accomplish anything except destruction and misery? They’re turning to man and his solutions instead of to God and His plan. And God reveals what will happen in Leviticus 26:20.
“And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
I have some questions for you. Do you think Israel is spending its strength in vain like the Bible says? Will Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran come to heel? These nations as well as other enemies of Israel will just deepen their hatred and animosity. they may quiet down for a while, while they regroup and reorganize, and eventually they will attack again.
What do you think is coming upon our nations in the West? We have become materialistic, secular societies that tolerate and encourage deceit, idolatry, sensuality, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and many other sins. We host LGBTQ “pride” parades; our public places celebrate and promote transgenderism. While what Hamas did to innocent Israelis is horrifying, in the eyes of God is it worse than the moral filth we are forcing on a whole generation of youth?
Ironically, and maybe purposely, Hamas attacked Israel on the weekly Sabbath. But it was also on an annual holy day that many Israelis observe. The feast of tabernacles is a wonderfully positive, celebratory and sacred day. Christ called it the “last day, that great day of the feast.” (John 7:37)
You can see the spite that the enemy has for those who keep the Sabbath and the Jewish traditions. He terrorized and brutalized them on the Sabbath. And if God doesn’t protect them, nothing will prevent him from doing this evil again, especially now at the end of time when his wrath is greatest. And he wants to destroy as many Sabbath keepers as possible. In fact, he wants to block the memory of the Sabbath from the whole world if he can.
One of Hamas’s first targets was the all-night festival of music known as a “psychedelic trance event” near the Gaza border. This activity has its roots in the 1960s hippie movement, known for its immoral lifestyle. Such indecent activity is common in Israel today. It is obvious that many Jews don’t respect the Sabbath any longer.
Nobody deserves the demonic brutality that Hamas inflicted on the Israelis. These young people certainly did not have God’s protection. They were carousing on the Sabbath and on a sacred holy day that they should be keeping holy! Hamas, motivated by the enemy, preyed on the fact that they had turned from morality and abused the Sabbath.
The events of that morning should motivate us to some honest self-examination. We should be willing to make changes in our lives if we are to avoid perishing eternally. We must turn to God in repentance. God offers hope. He will abundantly pardon fully and freely.
Throughout history the enemies of the Israelite people seem to have a grizzly theme. When the ancient Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, Pharaoh commanded a slaughter of their newborn sons (Exodus 1:16). In the days of Christ, king Herod murdered the Israelite infants in an attempt to get at the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:16-18). That’s the circumstances of the statement of scripture in Matthew 2:18.
“In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
This verse could be applied today. In the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Inquisition, sent armies to attack the Waldenses and others, and they especially took delight in the slaughter of infants.
But there is a chilling prophecy in Psalm 137:8, 9. Speaking of the daughters of Babylon, the ecumenical churches, whom the psalmist says persecuted and controlled God’s church in captivity says,
“O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.”
Could we be going into captivity to the daughters of Babylon through the ecumenical movement?
Friends, I want this sick old world to come to an end, don’t you? I want these wars to end. The only way is to surrender completely to Jesus Christ and ask him to take away your sin and seal you for eternity.
I am so glad that the brutality and destruction of war will someday come to an end. We’ll have the privilege being around that long table and eating with Jesus and every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Won’t that be wonderful? We will have another feast of tabernacles in heaven. I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss the absolute piece and calmness of the new earth.
Let us pray. Our Father in heaven, we stand aghast at the inhumanity of man toward his fellow man. Hatred and violence are everywhere in the land. It is just as predicted in scripture. But we want to escape the maelstrom of war and chaos and destruction. So please draw us close to your heart. Give us your peace now so that we can have it during the conflict that is sure to come. Let us learn to rely on your holy word that is the only accurate interpretation of the events that are taking place around us. And we will thank you eternally. In Jesus name, amen.
Make a Gift
“The most odious of all oppressions are those which mask as justice.” more…
TagsCatholic Church church and state Donald Trump government LGBTQ natural disaster politics Pope Francis Prophetically Speaking Quote of the Day religion religious liberty United States Vatican
- WHO chief’s dire warning: Disease X outbreak ‘a matter of when, not if’ on
- Pope: peace requires knowing others, listening and intellectual flexibility on
- WHO chief’s dire warning: Disease X outbreak ‘a matter of when, not if’ on
- ’Woke Kindergarten’ teacher calls for destruction of America: ‘We’ve been trying to end y’all' on
- California storms kill three people as 38 MILLION remain under flood alerts and Beverly Hills roads turn to rivers of mud on