AN AMAZING FACT: Lake Peigneur was a modest, shallow lake of fresh water near New Iberia, Louisiana. Early in the morning on November 21, 1980, a drilling team was probing for oil under the lake from a large floating platform. They knew something was wrong when their drill suddenly seized up at about 1,200 feet and the large derrick began to tilt, pop, and collapse beneath them. The 12 men working the rig escaped to the shore and watched in amazement as the huge $5 million drilling platform overturned and disappeared into a lake that was less than 10 feet deep!
Slowly at first, the water around that position began to revolve, but it steadily accelerated until it became a fast-moving whirlpool a quarter of a mile across. Soon it swallowed another nearby drilling platform whole, a barge loading dock, 65 acres of soil from Jefferson Island, plus a sundry of trucks, trees, and structures. Eleven barges were pulled from that canal and swallowed by the swirling abyss. The whirlpool overtook a manned tugboat on the canal. The crew had to leap off onto the canal bank and watch helplessly as the lake consumed their boat.
Meanwhile, far beneath the lake was the Diamond Crystal salt mines, where miles of cavernous tunnels, some 80 feet high and 50 feet wide, were rapidly filling with water. Evidently the drillers had miscalculated their position and had punched a small hole into the colossal salt mines a thousand feet below. Fortunately, one of the mine workers quickly sounded the alarm and all 50 miners managed to barely escape with their lives. After three hours, the 1,300-acre lake was drained of its 3.5 billion gallons of water. Over the next two days the canal refilled the crater with ocean water, and nine of the sunken barges popped back to the surface like corks. The drilling rigs and tug boat were never found. And all this started with a little hole about a foot across.
The Bible teaches that little things can make a big difference. Achan once thought it would be OK to bend the rules just a little bit. He knew he wasn’t supposed to take any of the spoils from the destruction of Jericho. Joshua later said, “Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity” (Joshua 22:20). We are deceived when we think wrong “little” sins will not affect anyone else.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Psalms 46:2 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. Psalms 46:3